Friday, January 6, 2012

Nina vs Fairytales

I'm busting out the old boxing gloves. What can I say? Old habits die hard. And this time in the ring against me are fairytales. There isn't anything as toxic, deadly or highly corruptible as fairy tales are to reality.

It's cruel, really, if you sit down and think about it. The Notebook, A Walk in The Clouds, A Walk to Remember, The Proposal, etc Basically any cheesy movie that starts with A or The and includes some intangible romantic object in the title. Take off thin plot and fluff of the movie, and you've got the same over heated ideas. A platform for promoting the biggest lies and myths of the game. 

Men do change! Jerks become wonderful people. Love lasts forever even if the last time you saw the person you love they smacked a restraining order on you. Love blossoms anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks and will overcome evil parents, wicked managers, paranoid aliens and even death. Sadly- the younger ones that haven't had their heart callused by the realities of the world swallow this stuff up like there's no tomorrow. 

I'm sorry. But if he left you, he isn't coming back. And it's probably a good thing. As Katy Perry so eloquently phrased it, he's "The One that Got Away." If you fell in love at age 15 I can almost promise you you'll have forgotten the dude's name by age 20. And for the love of everything holy- you can't change people. That's right, I'm staring at you, Beauty and The Beast. Yes, you may have broken a curse, but that husband of yours is still a twisted monster inside. He just got a new paint job. 

So you got dumped. Worry not, life has been scientifically proven to go on, and not necessarily any less enjoyably. Eventually you'll find another muse. Don't think for one second every day of your life you'll sigh deeply, lose interest in life, and binge on ice cream because Mr. Joe Schmo broke your heart. It ain't no Humpty Dumpty. But the stuff back together again, smile and carry on. 

To conclude? Don't expect Brad Pitt to bust through your window on a unicorn and fly you away to Tahiti. Make your standards believeable- make it Pablo, in his Chevy Malibu '98 with 16" rims and a long weekend vacation to Sandy Ego.

*Not to be confused with the metropolitan city in California*

Nina's Random Thoughts on Overly Used Words

It's a pity, a crying shame, a depressing factor in today's day and age, that with the insurmountable, exponentially rich vocabulary we have access too, so many overused words are printed, pasted, and protruding from every oral orifice. 

I'm talking about movie directors, preview designers, author and movie critics, and everyone who's anyone in the critique world. Examples:

Incredible. The definition of the word is quite straightforward- hard to believe, to grasp, because of it's rarity in occurrence, manner or form. A politician following through on a promise? Earth-shattering. Groundbreaking. Yes, incredible. Your grandma hiked Mount Everest? Only incredible if she also makes it back down in one piece. But getting your car totaled, having 5,000 friends on Fakebook, or finding out he's not yo' baby daddy, etc. not so much. Find a more believable adjective- like out of the norm. Amusing. If you're feeling brave, even interesting could be replaced in this instance. Leave the incredulity for occasions that merit the word. 

Here's another I always get a kick out of. 

"Roy Hansen's newest novel, "How to Patch Your Pants" is literally life-changing."

0.o ? Really? Life-changing?

How many times can your life seriously and effectively be changed? It seems like it's the filler word whenever someone wants to sell more books, albums, movies or coat hangers. A word of note: It isn't life changing unless it involves amputating some appendage, losing one of my senses, or making a permanent lifestyle change- like gastric bypass. That is life-changing. 

A movie on a few people backpacking around the world and eating gelatto is not.

Or how about Innovative? Few things these days can truly be categorized as innovative. Smart phones, computers, and English longbow were innovative. They were new, refreshing, practical in their day and age. A scratch and sniff pencil dubbed a "shmencil" is just a poor way to use wood and lead and nostrils.

The list goes on and on- (guru, savvy, vast,..) What am I getting at here? That before you over use the same old, stale and burned out word in your public content, it wouldn't hurt to check out and see what other options the language has to offer. 

I promise it will be incredibly life-changing. (You knew it was coming) 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Bathroom Enigma

Stay with me- this is not necessarily a gross post. There's just this thought that's been hanging out upstairs for a while that I thought I'd invite for a cup of coffee and further musing.

In the modest years yours truly has accrued, there's an idea that's become rather affixed with the passing of time. There seems to be a place most people feel comfortable in, attracted to, and per se, even attached to. I call this The Bathroom Enigma.

I guess it's because although its the smallest room (usually) in a house, it's one you're guaranteed solitude in. No one interrupts, or would ever want to interrupt, while you're occupying it. If you leave your technological devices outside this little room, you suddenly have silence and nothing to do but meditate. The hot water that a shower provides makes the room warm, soothing. Almost like a mini sauna. I can't imagine why people would put a TV or a bunch of magazines inside a bathroom. When else are you going to think long and hard about everything and anything?

If you pay close attention, you'll also see most profile pictures are are usually set up in the bathroom. Yes, I had spoken out about that before. But after discarding many pictures because of bad lighting and shadows, I realized there's a certain warm light that only spills through in bathroom lighting. As long as you stay away from the obvious square 4x4 tiles, or the flowy shower curtain, you may have some awesome pictures. Call me crazy, although I usually go by Nina, but I guarantee 85% of good pictures are born in the bathroom. Yet, I admit, it's still very weird and I will never admit to doing it. ;)

Am I the only one that feels this way? It wouldn't be the first time.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

All For World Peace, unless..

Music, movies, children's books, songs, politicians, beauty pageant contestants, media, news, etc- they all hint at directly or indirectly the need for peace, and for everyone to work together. Ah, how nice would it be. A utopian society where everyone respects each other and no one fears their neighbor. 

What? You say I have to give up certain preferences? Huh? I have to be humble and accept other viewpoints? You're joking right? I much rather sit here in my warm fur coat, slip on my blood diamonds, snuggle my toes in slave labor slippers, and yell the living daylights out at my neighbor for allowing his obnoxious three year old to laugh. 

Perhaps you have noticed this as well. It's amazing that everyone desires in some aspect or form to live in a peaceful world, but as soon as you mention that means changing your lifestyle or attitude, they point the nearest sharp object in your direction. Because of course, they want peace in their way, by their standards, and in their time. 

Ever heard the saying, "You can't please everyone?" Well, when it comes to figuring out how to delegate tasks and solve world problems, it gets murkier. You can't please anyone. Everyone has their own agenda, and even if they agree on the same goal, their means of getting there are night and day. Some suggest peace can only come of war. Yet others admit war only promotes violence, hatred, aggression and more war. 

You don't have to go very far, in fact. People aren't even willing to yield to another car on the road or let someone cut in front of them in a line without having three cows- much less concede that although they're right, they'll be willing to give in for the sake of peace. And yet they clamor for positive change. How ironic. 

Humanity goes to great lengths to use their resources for relative peace-keeping measures, yet they are waiting for the moment someone slights them or makes fun of something so trivial as their favorite football team to be all blood and gore. 

And that's precisely why men will never accomplish world peace. If you can't get two people to agree on a subject as basic as lying, you will never overcome the bigger fish to fry. 

On My Switch to Apple

It's been nearly three months now from my transition into an iPhone. (Previously, I was connected to the world via Android Captivate). My brother, who's first and only smart phones have been Apple, kindly allowed me to trial out the iPhone 3GS as he obtained the newest gem in glory, the iPhone 4GS.

As any Android Ambassador, I was all angst and negative reviews. I was determined to dislike the product, whatever it took. In fact, my first words were, "Wow, what a cloudy screen. No voice guided GPS? Lame." My brother just smiled and said "just wait.." So I did. Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned a month, and I was cruising through the phone like no tomorrow. No confusing paths or endless tapping to get to the settings, no random crashes, no hyped up apps that turned out to be glitchy and overly fru fru. Despite all my unfounded hatred, I was beginning to veer towards the Apple side.

Desperate to recover my indifference and vast apathy, I switched on my Android to rekindle the fire. And that was the last strike. Fifteen minutes later, when the phone finally loaded, I was quite angry. When I tapped a single app, I had to wait another five minutes for the screen to then freeze and take me back to the home screen. I opened up my favorite app, Google Talk, and swype was suddenly confusing and slow. It spurned out wrong words, incorrectly spelled, and froze after two words. And here is where the Android Stoic may say, "Ah, the problem was the Captivate. If you would have had the EVO or the Thunderbolt.." And that's exactly what I mean. In their efforts to make a customized phone for everyone, they sacrificed efficiency and seamless integration. I've played with EVO and Thunderbolt and the phone is always clunky, battery always on the verge of dying, and never delivering half of it's promise. My iPhone 3GS is now 3 years old, and it still works smooth, quickly and updates almost automatically. With Android, I was always being left behind. From 1.1, to 1.2, to 1.5., to 2.5, ( Froyo, gingerbread, ice cream sandwich, popsicle rainbow, jolly rancher, peppermint diarrhea.. etc. ) and before you know it, the phone you invested in two months ago is now archaic.

With Apple, that is history. I'm still on par with newer iPhones, I still have ability to use the same apps, and not be penalized with being unable to access Netflix or other apps because my phone is slightly older. So Android fans, what is all your hate based on? Sometimes open sourced is a good thing, like the Waze app Apple offers, (which is a much better replacement for Google Maps, with real live traffic and cop warnings) and sometimes its just the means to confusing demise, like Android Market. If everything was Open-Sourced, medicine would be a lot riskier, grocery shopping would be dangerous, and so on and so forth. It's not always a good thing. Leave the professional editing to professionals. Leave the designing and creating to those with skill and experience. And leave the Android in the store, where it belongs.

All hate mail can be directed to :)