Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What was I thinking?...

Today a song by 311 came up on a web station I was listening to.

Once upon a time, about 12 years ago, No Doubt was the first band I ever liked definitively. Tragic Kingdom was my first album. Back when the internets and the intarweb was just the internet and the world wide web was new, there was a fan site for No Doubt. One whose web URL changed into a fan site for 311 for some reason.

Why do I remember this? Because for about a week of my life, that site was my life.

I get the feeling we all do things when we were younger which we can't really comprehend now.

This site, wherever it was, just like a lot of other fan sites, declared itself THE most definitive unofficial fan site there is. It was such an authority on No Doubt that in order to join, you had to answer enough questions on a quiz correctly. All of the answer fields were open...this was no multiple choice piece of cake. I was determined to get into this site. I read through my CD insert and searched online (using dogpile as I believe this was pre-Google world domination) for answers to questions about who was dating whom, when they broke up, other dates, cities, and probably favorite colors, who knows. I wanted to get into this site so badly. I'm not sure if it was a matter of wanting to prove how much I liked No Doubt, or if it was to have a sense of belonging and to begin my test-taking life.

And so I ran around the internet on less than 56k dial-up for answers, but I couldn't come up with any. I still filled out the quiz as best I could and clicked submit. I never heard back. And I also stopped caring soon after. I found the site in my bookmarks long after and found that it had turned into a 311 fan site. Whatever.

I don't get what drives kids. Why did I want to get in on this extremely unprofessional site? At least I didn't spend any money on my failed quest. :-)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Even peanut butter changes...

Of all things today, peanut butter is intriguing me. Armed with celery stalks from home which I refused to add to the "yet another vegetable goes bad and gets thrown out" list, I went out during my lunch break to get a jar of peanut butter. The only place nearby is Whole Foods so of course even the cheapest peanut butter was all natural.

Though I'm sure it's fine, it looks terrifying. What happened to the Jif and Skippy peanut butter I used to know? Shiny, spreadable paste? This stuff I got--store brand non-organic...still all natural. It is a sort of peanut soup that I mixed vigorously with my plastic cutlery in hopes that it would turn into the unnaturally homogenous paste I've grown to love. I was surprised that they even have peanut butter machines in Whole Foods! Like the machine that grinds coffee (which I already thought was cool even though I've never used it) but with...peanuts. Goop comes out of a spout.

And when I returned to my office, my officemate told me that her favorite peanut butter is Smart Balance brand. It's still all natural, but they replace some of the peanut oils with the omega oils (those "good" fish and flax oils you hear about) so it's...good for you. Well, for peanut butter anyway. Vegetarians are definitely more knowledgable about that stuff sometimes.

Well, as if that segways into the next statement, happy Valentine's Day! No posts until Tuesday probably. Visiting school and being an alum!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Why I chose not to vote

Voter turnout is almost as important an issue in itself as the issues we're voting for.

And thus, welcome to possibly the most "contraversial" post of my life.

I did not vote in this year's Democratic primary.

It was not
...because I don't understand the power of the vote, how it is the easiest and in some ways only voice of a citizen that cannot be ignored, and how important it is to vote for the whole system to function.
...because I forgot.
...because I don't care about this year's election.
...because I'm lazy.
...because I did not have access to information about each candidate's stances and understand them. (I suppose that's up for debate.)

It was because I couldn't choose.

I realize I could have shown up and been uncommitted, but I was pretty sure if I went or I filled out that absentee ballot I'd choose someone. And at that point that'd just be a completely random vote, a statistical nightmare.

You're thinking:

You know, I'd be the first to agree with you. I'm a notoriously indecisive person and also self-proclaimed to be politically ignorant. Clearly, I don't understand the depth and intricacies of the issues. But here's another question...who really does? Nowhere on your ballot is a quiz of who supports what, and what impact taxes or medicare or Iraq will have on your lives and the lives of everyone around you and around the world. People vote because they want to, have a strong opinion however it's based (even if it's on a reggaeton song from Amigos de Obama).

I'm neither far to the left nor the right. I'm young, and therefore seemingly prone to be liberal...and I am. But I identify myself as a moderate. I took this election to be like any other bit of conflict or discussion...I choose my battles. I will let those who feel passionately about who they want as their representative in the presidential race, and not interfere. Also, somehow since it was down to 2 big runners, things were less clean cut than before. (Diversity and choice of all kinds are good!)

I agree--this is a pretty dumb thing to have to explain. And though I said the reason wasn't because I was lazy, I suppose others would at least characterize this as apathetic. I'm just trying to slant it a bit towards a more thoughtful decision. Though I don't mind being called's quite possible that "apathetic" is the single most descriptive adjective of my being.

Will I vote in the presidential election? Yes. Very yes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What I've learned from Google

Oftentimes at work I get bored and need distraction. Big surprise. Common scenario:

I either open a browser (only IE available at work) or find one of the seven I have open and find one I don't need anymore. I check LJ. I check facebook. I check LJ again. I check the news. There is already a browser window dedicated to IMing and another dedicated to iGoogle and thus my e-mail. What to do next?

Well, every once in a while (ya know, at least twice a day) I'm forced to come up with some inspiration...either Wikipedia-ing or Googling something.

In an instance today, Googling was the tool of choice. I randomly decided to look up Noah and the Whale. (Myspace linked here.) A band that one of Jamie's old friends is in.

I did the search and found myself pausing, to choose what hits came up. Normal, right? But then I realized that I was judging the band by these links without
knowing anything about them or even clicking on them. Which I suppose is also normal, but has gone previously unnoticed.

First two hits are MySpace: They have a name that is distinctive enough that the MySpace pages come up first. They do not have their own home page, or it does not get visited often. Not particularly popular, big, or commercial.

A Youtube video: They at least try promoting themselves.

A Hype Machine link: They have street cred! link for buying one of their mp3s: Bigger than I thought, or Amazon sells anything people put up for sale. (I'm unfamiliar with buying downloads...)

A few more blog links: Same as Hype Machine

A BBC article: Well, then. I guess I'll scroll back up and listen for the next half hour.

Anyway, that's my ramble of the day. I just realized that I judge things by what comes up on Google. Makes me wonder about how much I trust the internet. Ask me directly about a Wikipedia article incident that I don't want to discuss here because I'm paranoid.

For the umpteenth time, Hello World

Welcome to the first post of my new blog. I guess this is possibly the, hmm, 8th blog that I've started or contributed to (no matter how infrequently or insignificantly). That's all I can remember anyway. I don't know what I'm trying to achieve with this yet really...seeing as I have many outlets to choose from. I guess...why not have this first post outline them! (It's a classic, filler move.)

Livejournal - a way to read other people's livejournals. :-) A place for daily babble and whatever I want with very customizable controls as to who sees what.

Xanga - the livejournal-esque community of my high school and early college-hood.

the band oh-sev blog - ignorantly web addressed to ypmb 07, a place for all Yale band 07 and friends to post whatever they feel appropriate.

vox - joined for 2 people. I don't use it.

anyo (the blogger blog), anyo the, um, site... - leeching off of someone else's blog. The first one was originally a bulletin board. The second one was just a site I crashed sometimes with the most impersonally interesting things I could think of.

the secret blog - the secret blog I kept for a while to write absolutely anything I the time it was so I could write at home and at work and anywhere I had an internet connection.

And now...the news mews muse moos! The name means nothing. It's loosely based on something I wrote in germany called the Daily Moos, a one page newsletter-like report on whatever I could think of by 10am. And though I'm not holding myself to a deadline, I'll do my best to force myself to write!

*edit - I've since implemented a very fuzzy label system:
news - anything that can be construed to be based on current events, or a link to an article
mews - something I'd put in my LJ or xanga...slightly random about me
muse - distractions, flash games, things that just purely for fun and stand-alone...minimal opinion
moos - ever so slightly more impersonal than mews...fine line...:-)