Thursday, October 14, 2010

Signed, Stamped, & Branded

When you think of being branded, what comes to mind? Uncle Ben's cows maybe, with that odd number on their behind. Or maybe the prisoners of the Nazi era, with an ID number stamped on their arm. They were not human, not personal individuals, they were "numbers". 
Well folks, its happening all over again in the US. These days, you aren't anyone without your SS#. Its your form of identification, even for things that are more social than they are secure. Why is it that everyone, from your landlord to your dentist, wants to know every detail of your life? Why is it that its so easy for someone to steal your identity, and then so hard to correct it? 
Everytime we open a bank account, we file taxes, we go to a doctor's appointment, we fill out a job application, we sign a contract.. there are those very nine digits on paper for the world to see. After you fill out 3490 pages of medical history and your whole life story, some careless receptionist stacks it on a pile where you didn't even see Joe Schmo walk by and jot down your digits. 
We always hear "Don't carry your SS card with you!", but there is no need to have it on hand for it to be stolen. And I speak from experience. Somehow, even with a mother who is paranoid about destroying and shredding any piece of information before throwing it away, someone nabbed my number, and used it to mortgage homes. After begging the SS offices to look into it, and writing dozens of letters, and making dozens of phone calls.. here I am on the same boat. Everytime I ask for a credit report, they point to me as the mysterious one. Yeah me, the teenage fraudulent mastermind that purchased a home at age 8.
Where are the laws protecting us? Why aren't they being enforced when broken? Why are people so careless? Last month, I accompanied my mom to the doctor's appointment, and the lovely registrar was shouting from a little cubicle to the crowd of patients, "What's your addresss?! Why ya here today? When's ya birthdate?! Okay thanks!"
I sat there and scoffed in utter disbelief. Really? Like we all need to know why Jane McDentures has an itch she can't scratch and that she lives on Old People Hill, Apt 231.... Besides being a disrespect to the person's privacy, in two shakes of a lamb's tail, I could have stalked her, figured out her social, dug through her trash and hit the jackpot.
Maybe one day, a light bulb will click upstairs, and the laws protecting our privacy will tighten up.
Right after Tupac, Elvis, Michael Jackson and Biggie host next year's Halftime.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Light after Darkness: Chilean Miners Rescued

Imagine feeling locked in the deep darkness of the earth. Little light, scarce food, and no way of telling the world outside that you're alive, and need to be rescued. Imagine how disheartening it can be, slowly rotting inside a rocky deathbed.
On August 5th, 2010, the world seemed to stop for 33 men. After a freak explosion, a group of miners were trapped in the dark abyss of a cave, 2200 feet below the surface. Would they ever see their families again? Would they ever feel the sun upon their skin? The loved ones- losing hope , and fearing the worst, thought it was the end.
Yet, 69 days later.. the dream came true. Through an ingenious contrivance, a life-size cage named "The Phoenix" was lowered down to their cold dark prison. Today, the 13th of October, Victor Segovia, miner number 15, is getting his hospital revision. The world watches on, enthralled and captivated as one by one, these men arise from the heart of the earth- and are reunited emotionally with their loved family. 
15 down, 18 to go! Now what's ever going to happen to number 21, the fellow who has a wife, and a lover! Uh-oh...
To watch live, click here!
Victor Segovi Rising from the ground
Miners Reunited with Family

The Phoenix Cage

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Can I have ya numba?

Oh, the intricacies of men and women fraternizing! So you ran into Mikey after leaving the post office, you know, Mikey from High School? The kid that repeatedly tried to ask you on a date leaving notes in your locker, your car, your front door, your bedroom window..

We deal with it all the time. Its one of the common issues of modern society. After a mediocre conversation, a happenstance meeting, or even reconnecting with an old friend through facebook. Its only a matter of chats before the dreaded question  arises:

 "Can I have your number?"
So there you are, staring at the kid, now man, you really didn't care about meeting again. His teeth look like they scared away the bravest toothbrush, and his hair still the disheveled bum look.
In a nutshell, your answer is "There's not enough beer in the world, buddy.." But if you're like me, and millions of other women too nice to shut you down cold, you're stuck in Awkwardville America, tugging at your hair and thinking how on EARTH am I going to get out of this?

Before I turned 18 I just had to just say my age, or refer to my parent's rules, and that would scare them off like a bucket of ice cold scorpions. But now that I don't have the protection of the law, here I lie vulnerable. Or do I? You could always break open a twix. And as you stuff your mouth with it, you mumble something
about having to be somewhere and something something facebook while running backwards at the speed of light. 

It may work in this instance. But what if you don't have a twix? Or what if you can't leave, because the Universe is against you, and you're at a party, and your friend, now MIA is the one who gave you a ride? 
  • Email. Ah, the impersonal loveliness of an email. Hand out your gmail, tell them you'll catch up with them later. And now you have the liberty of clicking "Block User" or "Report Spam".
  • Google Voice. Quite possibly the nicest way to evade people you love as much as you love a root canal. When you set up a google voice number, you get to choose your lucky 7 digits, and then it just gets better. With features like Mobile Voicemail, you can send someone to voicemail inmediately, and then as you have a change of heart listening in to their long drawn out snooze that you want to subtract your dignity and self esteem and speak to them, you can, by clicking a button. Or, you can just delete or deactivate your google voice number and never hear from the loozas again. 
  • Fakebook. Now everyone, even pets, (pitiful) has a cyber identity. So tell them to find you on FB- although, disclaimer: You'll only get rid of the issue temporarily, like putting a cat in a closet. Eventually they'll poke the heck out of you until you implode and give in. Or block and delete :)
  • Rejection Hotlines. Hey, no one said it was nice! But when it comes to dropping hints, this one will fall gracefully like an antvil plummeting from the bright blue skies. One of my personal favorites: 973-409-3267 the "I do not hook up" rejection complete with Kelly Clarkson wailing in the background. However, this wonderful website compiles local rejection hotlines for those who may be suspicious about the different area code. 
Well my amigos, I hope this has helped. If you have any other ideas, funny stories, or commentary, find me on my facebook page and hit up the discussion boards. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Txtng has dstryd us!

I used to be able to type messages rather fluently. In fact, once upon an aeon, my friends used to call me Grammar Police. So why is it that now I can't resist abbreviating and re-abbreviating my text messages?

Text message language is just another world on its own. B3fo43 !+ \/\/@$ +@|_|< !|\|5 like this. Now its even more annoying and less legible.

"Hey! Hru, btw, lmk f u wanna hang 2nite.. Idk f Jen wil go, changbtm (call her and get back to me). tkcr c U sn"

The purpose of messages is to shorten the amount of time used to communicate. And instead, it has shortened communication and multiplied the amount of time it takes to comprehend the dialect.

And when did bestie become a term? I'm not even drinking age and I don't remember when it became hip to use bestie. Then again, to use hip hasn't been hip since hip became the body part. :/

How many other terms and abbreviations can you guys think of? I'm thinking of creating a Texting Terminology Glossary :P It may help the outdated like me and frustrated parents who read their kid's txt msgs while the world is sleeping..