My 100th Post! (Or, Why I’m an iPoodle-In-Training)

So, just when I thought I had my social-networking-Web site-management problem under control …

My friend Lori goes and introduces me to Facebook.

I’m already on Friendster because of one friend, who’s NEVER on when I am. And I should’ve just said, “No. Nope. Last time I took up your offer of invite onto a social site, I never used it for months, and when I did, I discovered some 25-year-old was hitting on me.”

But, no. I couldn’t resist the power of online networking. The groups. Creating my profile … oh, the possibilities…

And here I am, about three days later, with my own Facebook profile, signed on to a network, plus three groups, “for fun”. Forget getting ANY work done in the afternoons. The temptation is too great.

At least the friends that I know on Facebook poke me when they’re online.

I like being poked.

Modified Speech: New Year, New Words?

I meant to do this earlier in the month, but I didn’t have a chance to get around to it …

The first Wednesday of January, I bought a National Post on the way to work (because they were all out of Globe and Mails) and they had this kinda neat little section which read, “What better way to start 2007 than with some new vocabulary?” And you could go to their Web site and vote on the best one, or introduce your own word.

There were about 16 of them on the front, but here are the ones I liked the most and may start using, (if I haven’t already). Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Googley moogley: adj.
The frustration point you reach when the world’s most popular search engine can’t find what you’re are looking for.

Hangry: adj.
The state of crabbiness that sets in when you haven’t eaten.
(So far, my favourite.)

iPoodle: n.
A person who shamelessly jumps on every new technological fad.

Schadenfreudian slip: n.
Accidentally admitting that you wanted someone to fail.

Shpants: n.
Women’s dress pant that are not quite clam diggers, not quite capris but also not quite shorts.

Wussam: v.
A response to a question indicating that you were, and still are, in the same condition.

Where Do the Stupid People Go?

Call it bizarre, but I’ve had this question burning a hole in my grey matter the last couple days …

Okay, so if you believe – or were taught when you were a kid – that people “go somewhere” when they die, the common belief is (or was) that good people go to Heaven, Paradise, whatever … and bad, evil people go to Hell.

So where do the stupid people go?

No, seriously. I thought about this the other day, when news kept resurfacing of that woman in California who killed herself drinking too much water, to win a contest that was giving away a Nintendo Wii.

Think about it. She drank herself to death. For a machine. How stupid IS that?

I’m sorry if you think it’s mean-spirited or cruel of me to say so (which would probably mean I’ll be heading to hell when it’s my time) . But WHY would you DO that? NO piece of video game equipment – being offered for free, as a prize – is worth that.

And then there are things like the Darwin Awards, which document people who have killed themselves doing crazy things in the name of … who knows?

I can’t imagine the vast numbers of people who have died due to stupidity. Not due to an accident. Or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or getting what they deserved. Or dying unjustly. Because they did something without using ANY of their brain cells about what the end result might be.

And I can’t imagine, what these people are doing right now, wherever they may be.

I have to stop here. My head hurts right now from thinking about this.

Farewell to The Last Little Girl

She was the smallest of my second cousins.

But what she lacked in physical strength, she made up for in personality and, from what I hear, a sharp mind.

And yesterday afternoon at work, I found out my cousin, Adonia, died.

She had sickle cell anemia, which – to probably oversimplify things – is a disorder that affects the properties and number of red blood cells in the body, which can clog blood vessels and deprive the body’s organs and tissue from getting the oxygen they need.

This, in turn, means she was more prone to getting infections and becoming ill quite easily.

The last time I met her, she was a tiny baby, barely a toddler.

But from what I’ve heard from my mom, who saw her last summer, she was extremely bright.

To say her mother is beside herself with grief is probably the understatement of the year, and perhaps even insensitive. She’s a teacher in the Jamaican school system, which is often tough and insensitive to the needs of teachers. So when Adonia fell ill, she couldn’t drop everything to see to her in hospital.

By the time she did manage to get there, she was too late. From the sounds of it, her last little girl had died in pain and alone.

And I can only imagine what her older brother and two sisters – thousands of kilometres away in the U.K. – must be thinking and feeling right now.

It just feels strange. Just thinking about it, it’s like my brain can’t process what’s happening and has separated itself. It’s like looking at myself through a pair of binoculars, or one of those cardboard tubes, the way you might as a kid after the toilet paper was finished.

Her mom – my first cousin – is a teacher … she won a trip to come up to Canada this spring. And I was finally going to meet her after almost 15 years. Now I’ll never get the chance.

My mom says that she’s probably better off now because she’s no longer suffering.

Is she right?

Happy Birthday, MLK

Although I should have written this earlier – and even though I’m not American – I just wanted to acknowledge the birthday of a giant of the civil rights movement and in history.

From him, a lot of people learned the importance of seeing past colour and breaking down barriers in their own way … and changing the face of the way people in the world see each other (well, people in some parts of the world, anyway).

Above all, this chapter of history reminds us that it’s okay to have a dream.

He did.

The Hardest Part About Turning 30 Is …

… trying to plan your own birthday party, and not having a plan!

Eeeek!

I’ve still got just over 11 days left to figure this out, but I haven’t the slightest idea of how to make this somewhat memorable. And I’m not going to work the day after, so it’s not like I have to worry about going home early.

So far, the suggestions I’ve gotten are:

  • renting out a bar
  • reliving my youthful days by either going to somewhere like the old Playdium or Laser Tag.

If anyone’s got any good suggestions, please throw them out there. I’d be happy to consider (or combine) any of them.

UPDATE: So I did manage to find a venue for the party. Now the real planning – and waiting for people to respond – begins. Ugh.

iPhone? I yaaa-aaaawn.

If you’re a follower of the Church of Steve Jobs of Latter-Day Mac Users, than I suggest you move on to the next blog.

Hell, you want a two-word reaffirmation? Go read my brother’s blog instead. Just get the hell on, then. Get to steppin’! Git! ‘Cause what I’m about ta say, you’re not gonna like.

Okay. So yesterday, Mr. Jobs held his annual keynote address at the Macworld convention (a.k.a. The-We’re-WAY-Too-Good-For-The-International-CES-Convention) in San Francisco, and he gives his crazy Apple-obsessed disciples – some of whom lined up in THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT to get in the following day – have some of the Good Gospel According to Apple. Over 2 billion songs bought from the iTunes store … Apple TV, the new wireless way of playing all your iTunes content…

And then he unleashed what would probably be the digital equivalent of crystal meth, wrapped in an approximately 11 cm x 6 cm x 1 cm shiny thin metal casing. Electronic porn for the masses.

It was nuts. I remember one snippet of tape I saw, where Jobs was demonstrating the locking feature on the phone (“… and you just slide it over”), and his followers clapped in approval, as if to say, “See, non-Apple suckers? Steve’s got every problem you’ve ever had with a phone figured out. And he made it futuristic AND pretty.”

I’ve talked to a couple people I know. One of them thought the iPhone’s a sweet package. The other says she wouldn’t want an iPod phone, which you could argue, is essentially what this is.

Lookit. Apple plays a good game. I don’t completely hate them. As a PC user, they make a good case for wanting to become a “switcher”, to use a Jobs-ism. The Mac commercials are funny. The iPod commercials, very flashy.

But a phone-MP3 playing-organizer? For almost $700 Canadian? You’ve GOT to be out your damn mind.

(And who the hell holds their OWN convention the same week as the other international electronics convention? That’s just plain elitist.)

Yes, pretty with bells and whistles and touch screens and slidey things this iPhone may be. But you can never EVER factor out life and human error.

What if the thing gets stolen? Someone didn’t just pilfer your phone. They also pilfered your MP3 player, and your organizer.

What if you drop it and it breaks? What? You’re not going to be that clumsy? I’m sure Steve Wynn, the millionaire who bought Picasso’s masterpiece “Le Reve” in October and then accidentally poked a hole in it the day after, didn’t think he was the clumsy type, either. Stuff like this happens, whether you want it to or not.

And if you’re Canadian and have enough self-control to wait until it comes north, then I hope you have the patience of Job. One news report I just watched said it may not be up here for MONTHS. I feel bad for all the electronics companies who have been fielding calls since yesterday about a product they only found out about ’round the same time as everyone else.

Listen – everyone’s free to choose whatever they’d like. But we’re talking about personal electronics! They don’t perform surgery, or rocket science, or help solve the world’s problems, like poverty or crime. They have flashy lights and sounds, and perform neat electronic tricks that overexcite your neurons. Or in the case of some hard-core Apple users, make them almost rabid to the point of falling into the electronic-device-equivalent of a diabetic coma.

And already with such a flashy new baby, there’s already conflict nipping at Apple’s heels. Another company, Cisco, has immediately gotten ligitious, seeking an injunction against Apple allegedly biting the “iPhone” name.

And now that the iPhone’s out there, it’s only a matter of time before other companies try making similar models which, if they worked fast enough, could probably be on the market, in a matter of years, for less money.

I’m waiting to see what people will be like when this thing’s available in stores. Will this be civilized, or will this be just like the frothy frenzy caused by the first-day sales of the PS3?

(Which, if sales in Japan are any indication, is getting its bitch-ass WHOMPED by the Wii – at least, for the moment anyway – thank YOU very much.)