Saturday, November 24, 2012

Glee: Spirit Fingers in Social Context

I was in the bathtub thinking about how much I love baths.  In my head I thought "Mmmm.... Baaaaaths..." like the way Homer Simpson thinks about donuts or bacon.  But then that led me to a Hanson version, which went like "MMM BATHS, BA BA DOO BATHS, A DIBBY AH BA DOO BATHS, BA BA DOOOO..."  And then bath time became kind of like a party!

Fact: I think in music.  I am always rewriting my favourite songs to fit every day activities.  Like that time that I changed Fleetwood Mac`s classic hit "Go Your Own Way" to "Go Urinate".  Or a few weeks ago when I sang my entire work day to the tune of "Mambo # 5".  I guess it actually started back when I was about 9 and my Ballet carpooling buddy and I created the great masterpiece entitled *"Wind Beneath MyButt".  My life is a musical, and I`m pretty pleased about that. 

I think this is why I`m such a die-hard Gleek. Some people think it`s silly and unrealistic how they`re always randomly breaking out into song.  But for people like me an episode of Glee is just a typical day, only with more talent, better production quality, and fewer fart references.  (Actually the fart jokes pretty much stopped after we nailed the Bette Midler ballad.)  So what if I have a bunch of imaginary back up dancers when I brush my teeth, and I may or may not occasionally tap-dance while engaging in conversation.  (That second one actually happens kind of a lot.  Every day I`m shuffling!)  I only wish I could make it so that everyone I run into each day could somehow have shiny colour co-ordinated outfits, like for theatrical impact.

I have an intense sentimental attachment to music.  It reminds me of people I love, and precious moments in life.  It has been a catalyst for fun times, and helped shape and/or figure out who I am.  Music is a form of self-expression because every situation in life, good or bad, has its own corresponding soundtrack.  Music has special superpowers, and is frequently used for therapeutic and healing purposes.  It has even been used as a tool for peace-building and conflict resolution.  Music is probably my number 3 favourite thing after beagles and facebook, and tied with Quentin Tarantino.

It`s a bit unfortunate that I was born completely devoid of musical talent.  Although that didn`t stop me from almost scoring a recording contract in Australia for a song I wrote about living in a hostel.  I`m kind of a big deal in Melbourne, which you could probably tell from the part about how I was living in a hostel.  Sadly our duo had to break up immediately after the only time we ever performed it because of artistic differences.  (And because he was trash talking my girl Lea Michele.)  You know how it is.  But I still keep the dream alive that one day Ryan Murphy will catch me singing Don`t Stop Believing in the shower and then come up to me and say "WE NEED YOU ON GLEE STAT!"  Why, I`d be so excited I`d forget it was weird that Ryan Murphy was stalking me in the shower!

Moral of the story: If you have the imagination to add a little razzle dazzle to your every day life, embrace it.  The world needs more harmony.  And spirit fingers.  

*As kind of a funny aside, one time several years after the Ballet carpooling days I was meeting up with that same ballerina friend for drinks.  I texted her, and in my message left some kind of reference to Wind Beneath My Butt, thinking I was being cute.  The funny part was that she had actually got a new phone and I didn`t have the updated number, so I ended up sending the Wind Beneath My Butt text to some random stranger who responded with "Umm... What!"

Oh, and P.S.- Sorry for getting Hanson stuck in everybody`s heads.  

For an archive of all the fun imaginary songs I can remember check out this page which I just created.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Invisibility: On Looting and Pillaging and the Rise of a New World Order

The world of science was rocked this week by the brilliant masterminds of Duke University`s Nathan Landy and David R. Smith.  Thanks to these guys and their ability to manipulate light or microwaves or whatever, the world is one step closer to succumbing to the Republic of Dumbledore.  That`s right, they just figured out what Hollywood mastered in 1933: Invisibility.  So, now that man has successfully made a cylinder disappear, it`s only a matter of time before we`re all assaulting each other to get our hands on our own cheap personal invisibility smocks at the nearest Wal-Mart.  Scientists, Fuck Yeah!

But with such close technological proximity to perfect invisibility, we can assume that the authorities are already trying to figure out how to destroy fun.  Politicians are no doubt preemptively drafting legislation criminalizing invisibility cloaks due to the inevitable descent into anarchy that would result from mass invisibility. So before the man takes away our right to dream, it`s time to get real and discuss the funtastic adventures that are about to be made possible.

I decided to do a poll to see what  everyone would do with this coveted superpower.  After some consultation and preliminary data analysis, I have broken down the possibilities into four main categories: Mischief, prosperity, voyeurism, and indulgence.

1. Mischief: You could haunt people and make your nemeses totally batshit  without all the inconvenience of being dead.  Let`s face it, the only real problem with being a ghost is the bit about having to snuff it.  Otherwise it`s awesome.  Well, problem solved. So go forth and give some asshole a nice good mind fucking.  It`ll be hilarious!

2. Prosperity: Co-ordinate and carry out unnecessarily elaborate bank heists.  Then give all the money to charity.  Then steal money from people you don`t like it and keep it.  I spoke to an engineer who thought this was a terrible idea because the money wouldn`t be invisible and you`d probably end up getting caught and dying in a Bonnie & Clyde style bullet shower.  But obviously you would hide the money under the invisibility cloak so that it would be invisible too.  Duh!  Scientists are just no good at problem solving.  That`s why the world needs us Arts students.  Anyway, he suggested sitting in on some Fortune 500 company`s finance meetings to get some hot insider trading info.  My main concern with that idea is that it wouldn`t be as fun to do crazy invisible ninja moves as it would with the bank heist method.  Nevertheless, money`s money and the modus operandi is completely up to you.

3. Voyeurism: Find out if that girl you`re smitten with has a shrine in your honour in her bedroom that she worships every night before pleasuring herself.  Or, sneak into the homes of sexy celebrities and spy on them in the shower.  If you`re into that kind of thing.  Which I`m not, because I find spying on people really creepy and if you vote for this one I`m deleting you off facebook because you`re probably a creep.  Not to mention the fact that I also don`t necessarily want to see the kinds of things that Zach Braff does when he thinks he`s alone, mainly because I`m worried that it could potentially ruin Zach Braff for me. I`m not prepared to sacrifice his perfection or tarnish the integrity of "Scrubs" in any way.  So I`ll just stick to the ZB shrine.  (Just kidding. As previously confessed my bedroom shrine is reserved for the United Nations Secretary Generals.)

4. Indulgence: Of course there`s the obvious hopping on planes to see the world, or sneaking into movie theatres so you can be the first to see "American Pie 87: My Great Great Grandchildren are Jerking off with Baked Goods and Woodwind Instruments... Again".  But you could also take gluttony to a whole new level and make fat pants a thing of the past.  When you`re bloated and disgusting you don`t have to worry about people judging you on your gross poutine stained elastic waist jogging pants.  Go steal another wad of chocolate chip cookie dough and just give er! (Did that sound Canadian?  That totally sounded Canadian!)

Moral of the story: Science is awesome, and why are we worrying about China when Hogwartz is the real threat to American hegemony?  Seriously, I just discovered today that my city has its own Quidditch league, but no discernible public transit system.  Is nobody else threatened by the fact that pretty soon all of our research money will be contributed to figuring out how to turn ourselves into cats?  And quidditch?!  Really?! Because a game that involves running around on a broom is obviously not lame at all.  On the other hand, beats the hell out of hockey!

History of Invisibility: 1933- Score one for the arts kids!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Siri: The Worst Technological Advance Since... Ever

I am a connoisseur of crappy phones.  I have had a magnificent series of six cell phones that are less useful than those Fisher Price phones from 1962 with blue wheels and a giant creepy happy face that says "age 3 and up" on the box. (Okay, I just checked and it`s actually age one and up, but who`s counting?) The point is, these phones are designed for people who have not yet developed to the stage of verbal communication, and they are still better than all of my crappy phones.  This is probably because my strategy for purchasing a telephone goes as follows:

Me: "Please point to your cheapest phone."
Sales representative points to piece of shit that obviously won`t work because it pre-dates the invention of fire.
Me: "I will take that one please!"

Sometimes I get jealous of people who have cool phones that do tricks like connect to the internet, or download apps, or send and receive text messages, or ring when somebody calls you...  But I don`t need all those bells and whistles.  In all honesty I`m just not a phone kind of girl.  The only reason I even got one in the first place was so that employers could contact me.  And now that I have a job it`s only real purpose is texting Kate every time I see a cute boy wearing a suit.  (Although I can`t even do that anymore because my texting functions have inexplicably ceased :s)  So in general I don`t really care that you left me a voicemail three days ago which I didn`t get because my phone is so crappy that it had no way of indicating to me that it happened. If it`s that important you should have just sent me a message on facebook.

One so-called "development" in telecommunications that makes me NOT regret my refusal to upgrade is Siri. Apple marketing cleverly conveyed this as a tool that enables you to find information more efficiently.  However, as we have all now figured out, it is pretty much exclusively designed to say funny shit when you ask it about penises and not be helpful in any practical way.  One of the many reasons Steve Jobs is considered a legend I suppose.

Perhaps my anti-Siri mentality stems from the fact that the first time I was introduced to her was when my friend asked a question about me and she responded with some kind of poop reference.  Cass thought it was funny.  I thought Siri was an asshole.  So Cass made another attempt to ask Siri a question about me, and again Siri made another poop reference.  I have hated Siri ever since.

Due to my undying contempt for Siri it has been impossible for me to remain objective in my opinions of her value to society.  But I believe a recap of Kate`s discussion this afternoon with Siri will speak for itself.

Kate: Siri, where is the closest Tim Hortons?
Siri: I have located five airports nearby. Would you like to know where they are?
Kate: No, Siri. Where is the closest Tim Hortons?
Siri: There are two K-Marts, but neither is very close.  Would you like to know where they are?
Kate: God damnit Siri you fucking suck you stupid piece of shit!!!!
Siri: Have I done something wrong?
Kate: Yes you stupid dumb bitch.
Siri: I`m sorry, I`m doing my best.
Kate: Oh, now I feel bad... Siri, where is the nearest Tim Hortons?...

Moral of the story: Even though my phone serves no practical function whatsoever, and in fact is so useless that it won`t even let me change the time settings for daylight savings, at least it doesn`t compare me to poop.  And that`s good enough for me!

Better than my phone.

My phone

My phone trying to send a text message

My phone when I tried to adjust for daylight savings time