Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On a Personal Note

WARNING: This post is rather depressing. Do not read if you don't want to read some heavy personal stuff.
Of course, if you like living soap operas, by all means, read ahead...

Wow.

I sat here for 20 minutes, typing out an explanation of how I feel the way I feel and why I haven't been blogging lately. I was almost in tears by the end of it...still am.

And I just deleted it.

I don't know why I did it. It's not like my blog is very public. I don't have ads on it, nor do I write for money, or anything like that. But still, I couldn't bring myself to hit "Publish Post". Something just wasn't right.

Maybe it was because I knew I was about to share something that is truly, truly personal with the rest of the blogosphere.

You see, I've been under an extreme amount of stress for the past few weeks. I don't mean stress as in just worrying. My stress has progressed to the point where I have a headache almost every night, I don't eat, I can't sleep peacefully, I'm always tired, and if I'm not around someone else (like Amardo) I spin myself into a cocoon of self-defeating thoughts that bring me to the verge of tears.

What's worse is that I can't always pinpoint the source of my frustration. I cry but can't explain the tears, rage but can't explain the anger. I worry but can't explain the cause.

This is exactly how I felt (though not quite to this degree) when I went through my terror filling out college applications last year. I felt pressured and when things didn't come through I felt a disappointment in myself that would put anyone else's bad feelings to shame. I felt inadequate, unable to take care of business, irresponsible, and just plain stupid. I feel that exact way now and then some.

However, I think I just realized why I deleted the last post...I realized that for all my complaining and whining, I'm not getting anywhere. The problems that plagued me before I wrote this post will still be here if/when I publish it. The tears waiting behind my eyelids will still be fighting to be free when I'm done. My fatigue will still be here. I wonder what's the point of publishing this at all.

Maybe someone will read this who has been through it before and can offer advice. Or someone who is going through it now won't feel so lonely, because trust when you're in a mood like this feeling lonely is the worst thing you can add. Who knows?

I'd like to take a moment now, before I publish this post and head toward a nap, to say a special thank you to Amardo. I've been a real handful these past few weeks, and yet he's been there for me every step of the way. Through the late night hysterical phone calls to the complaints to the depressing monologues to the frequent texts to the time I spend in his arms looking for a shelter from the cold world, he's been there. Every time I reached out, even when I felt alone, he was there. He listens. He speaks in his wise old man way. When I'm easily irritated and take it out on him, he understands (most of the time). He makes me forget that there are troubles in the world, and for a few blissful hours every few days I can be the carefree girl I was just a little while ago. It takes a powerful thing to bring a feeling like that back. He is simply amazing and I don't know what I did but I must have done something really good to have somebody like him in my life.

I must retreat to the couch now for a short nap to get some energy for the work I have to do tonight. And don't worry, I know this post was a little heavy on the emotions but I won't be posting any more like this for a long time. I hope.

Blog Award! Blog Award!

Award, award, award!!

I got another blog award!!

I actually got it like last week sometime but I've been slacking on the blog thing recently (though it's not entirely my fault) so I haven't posted it.

Here it is:

"This award is to be given to blogs that have at least 3 posts per week. I appreciate their kindness and generosity of sharing their wonderful recipes with us rain or shine".
- Quoted Litte Corner of Mine.


*Award song*

I'm a daily blogger, I'm a daily blogger!! I'm a daily blogger, HEY HEY HEY HEY!!!

Thanks, KC, for the lovely award! Though I guess my delay in posting it kind of defeats the purpose...

I'm tagging One Eighteen, The Fab and the Furious, and JK/Nancy because they are some true daily bloggers!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mama Demiera's Day Camp Week 6

I feel like a mom.

A soccer mom at that.

I'm even told by those fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to be on the other side of the phone when I'm trying to get the girls together that I sound like a mom. I probably do.

Every day, five days a week, it's the same routine. The girls get up, they mosey around for an hour, they eat frozen waffles and cereal (because I'm not a cook) and if I'm lucky I can get them to brush their teeth and wash up without too much hassle.

What's on the agenda for the day? Depends on how I feel. If I feel like a trip outside, we go to the park so I can sit in the shade and talk on the phone as they run themselves silly. Park visits don't last long, though, so we started going to the pool instead. I can sit in the shade and write articles then as they splash and swim and jump and play up and down the pool. We've gone to the museum, but that's about it. (Shhh...don't tell anyone, but we're going to the zoo tomorrow. They don't know that yet though)

Then it's lunchtime. Again, I'm not a cook, so if it doesn't come in the box it's not getting cooked. One of these days I'll make them something good. One of these days.

They read for half an hour, which is good for me because that's valuable blogging time. Then they do worksheets or some other type of work for another hour and a half, or until I get tired of them complaining.

Then they sit around again for 20 minutes while I fuss at them to clean up the mess they made or change into their uniform for karate. Then I'm pulling out the garage in my Mommy SUV to drop them off. They give me a hug and kiss before they get out the car, and I wait to make sure they're in safely. And then I'm off to run some other errands or to see Amardo. There's always something to be done.

When I kissed the girls goodbye yesterday it was off to the tailor to drop off my uncle's pants. By the time I got done battling rush hour traffic and stupid pedestrians and kids that obviously want to get hit, I sat down for a full 7 minutes before I was rushing back out the door to go pick the girls up in the Mommy SUV. *Sigh*

Today after I run through the routine (don't forget, I have to go pick up my uncle's pants from the tailor and take them to FedEx to be shipped), my day will not be done because I get to watch the girls from the time they wake up to the time they go to sleep. Won't that be a blast?

They aren't bad kids, they really aren't. They're actually very easy to babysit and since there's two of them they can often entertain themselves. If I weren't in such an authoritative role and could just be with my cousins as their older cousin, things would be a lot easier. But when I play the camp counselor/nanny/tutor role (which is really what I'm doing), things change. When my aunt is around things are easier because I'm not responsible for what they do, she is. But when there's nobody but me, I have to sit back and make sure they don't get hurt. I have to make sure they're safe at all times. It's a huge responsibility.

It has it's ups and downs like anything else. The question of whether this was a good or bad idea, though, lies entirely in what day and time you ask me :).

Finding a Job is Like...

...finding a grain of salt in the ocean.

I'm dog tired. Actually, the proper term should probably be job tired.

I've been job searching and applying for three hours, without much notable success aside from a few "thank you for your application" emails.

Sometimes I wish a job would be as kind as the Nestle Corporation and just tell me upfront that they don't want to hire me. Why waste my time waiting and waiting for the customer service representative that's never going to call or email when I could be spending time filling out more job applications?

Why can't I fill out one huge job application and fax it to every company imaginable and wait for my desperation for a job to finally pay off?

I made a resume so that I'd never have to go through this punishing task of filling out job applications, to no avail. My computer won't open the document in either of the TWO formats I saved it in, rendering my resume largely useless.

And as if it isn't enough that I have to fill out my personal information countless times, I then have to complete a customer service questionnaire that I suppose helps employers see whether or not I'm a truly consistent person. They ask all sorts of off the wall questions like "Do you think it's okay to steal from work once in a while?".

Like I'm really going to answer "Hell yes, I stole from my previous jobs all the time, how do you think I ended up with so many school supplies?".

Then they ask things like "Do you let it show if you're having a bad day?"

Yes. When I have a bad day and I'm at home, I let the world know so that people know better than to piss me off even further than I already am.

But when I'm at work and I have a bad day, I keep it to myself as much as possible or let a supervisor know that my day isn't going so well so that they'll know what to expect.

Of course, those questionnaires don't make that distinction.

If it weren't so important for me to be employed, I'd throw my idea of working to the dogs (heh heh second dog saying of the day). But I live a bit outside of my means sometimes, and I have to support one of my main stress relievers: shopping! So into the swirling black hole they call a job field I go.

Wish me luck!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Demiera's Abridged Gateway To All Things American and Specifically Chicagoan

I'm baaaaaaaack!!

I've decided to start this section partly because I really want to share some of the stuff specific to Chicago. But there are also things that go on in the US that my lovely readers from other countries may not know about or understand. The idea actually stemmed from two sources: the first was a Chicagopedia I saw online (which isn't very thorough or accurate in my opinion), and from KC asking me what babysitting was. So here goes:

Babysitting - An America-wide practice of dumping your bad ass kids on somebody else to deal with while you go out and have fun. In my case, I babysit my cousins while my aunt and uncle are at work, since it's the summer and they aren't in school. Since I'm their cousin and I've taken care of them since before they could crawl, I often have to play Mommy with them (and anyone talking to me on the phone when I interact with them will tell you that). Not all babysitters are like that, though. Most of the time, they just sit and run up the people's cable and phone bill while the little demon child flushes toy trains down the toilet and throws macaroni and cheese on the wall.

That was a pretty brutal way of putting it. In honesty, babysitting can be beneficial for both parties. The parents get a break from their little heathen children and can really go get things done. The kids get a break from the nagging of their parents and more relaxed rules (often a babysitter is just like a substitute teacher with less power). And the babysitter makes easy CASH that can be used for...drugs or whatever teenagers these days get :P

Hope this was helpful! I'll be expanding on that Chicagopedia I mentioned in later posts, and if you have anything you want explained comment on this post or put it in the shout box! :)

What A Shame

I was sad as I read Richard Roeper's editorial today and had to take a pause to share my thoughts on what I think is a very tragic event.

Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, passed on Friday.

It's not the fact that he was a computer teacher or one of the world's biggest experts on virtual reality or even that he died of pancreatic cancer that makes his death so sad to me. It's that he knew he was dying and could talk about it as candidly as you or I would talk about the day's weather.

He delivered a speech to his class, his "last lecture". It's a tradition that if a professor knew he was going to die he gives a lecture as kind of a way for his class to remember him. He gave some of that very lecture on Oprah a couple of months ago, and I happened to catch it. It almost made me cry to see this man standing on stage delivering that speech. I can only imagine how immensely emotional it was for his students.

It takes an incredible amount of strength to actually look death in the eye not with vengeance or anger but acceptance.

My outlook on life has certainly changed but until something like that happens to you, there's a sense of "I can do it tomorrow". I've thought about a lot of things lately, especially with all of the killing and disease, and I wonder: should I be doing something? Taking risks? Changing my life plans? My answer is no. I already am living my dreams and I have a lot to be thankful for. I would much rather be happy in my day to day life than to try to fulfill some huge event hoping it will bring me instant happiness.

Randy Pausch will be missed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Joker Is No Joke...and neither is The Dark Knight

After much hype and heightened expectations, I went to go see the Dark Knight last night. Let me first say that this was an awesome, awesome, spectacular movie. But saying that it was awesome isn't enough, so I'm going to give MY reasons for loving this movie.



1. (and probably the most important, at least to me) It was filmed in Chicago.
I've never felt swells of pride as bright as I felt yesterday seeing all those scenes I see every day. I realized just how much of my majestic city I take for granted. Of course, the movie turned into a Know Your City trivia game complete with repeated nudgings and "that's THAT building!" and "there's the river, I've walked there!" and "oh my God, Navy Pier!". And of course, I had to suppress my squeals when I saw the part that they'd filmed right down the street from my job (hint: I'm talking about the beginning with the bank scene). I literally almost jumped out of my seat when I saw that. I see tourists all the time and it never truly occurred to me that my city, my hometown, the place I live and work is actually a beautiful place that people come from all over the world to see until now.

Sorry for my shameless city spiel lol. Back to the movie.


2. Heath Ledger.
Oh. My. God. This man was amazing in this movie. He was absolutely, delightfully crazy in a strange, philosophical way. And no, my idea of his acting skill has nothing to do with his recent and sad passing. My opinion rests solely on his performance in that movie, and it was just exceptional. The hype surrounding his role in this movie did him no justice. None.


3. Action without too much blood.
I hate blood, gore, guts and torture, so I was happy to see that I only cringed a few times during the whole movie. The special effects were...big! At some points they were too much, and I left the movie with a big headache that got worse before it got better (ugh). There were one or two scenes that were so action packed you didn't know what you were looking at anymore. At least, I didn't know what I was looking at. Maybe I'm just slow :P

4. Phenomenal casting.
I know I already mentioned Heath Ledger, but some credit MUST be given to the rest of the cast: Christian Bale as, of course, Batman, Aaron Eckhard as Harvey Dent, Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes, Gary Oldman as the lieutenant James Gordon, Michael Caine as a very adept butler named Alfred, and Morgan Freeman as a CEO named Lucius. Because I haven't seen the rest of the Batman movies, I can only credit this cast on their obvious onscreen chemistry but I can't compare any of their performances to previous movies. As such, I'll just say that I thought each actor/actress played their roles extremely well and gave depth to the characters.

I have to stop here and admit that there are some outside (one inside) influences that affected my idea of the movie, so I should mention those here:

1. I missed the ending. Can you believe that? 5 minutes away from the end, where was I? Standing outside the theater, calling family members who thought I'd rolled over in a ditch somewhere (gotta love the protective family). By the time I made it back into the movie, the credits were rolling and people were leaving. Grrr.

2. The movie was too long. I almost fell asleep twice. After a long day of working with two hyperactive kids, I do not need to be in a 2 and a half hour movie. I can barely sit through a regular length movie so 3/4s through I was shifting anxiously in my seat and getting restless.

3. What about the hype? Amardo told me that maybe I didn't want to say the movie was good because I didn't want to get caught up in the hype. Which could be true, because I hate hopping on hype bandwagons. Was it really worth the hype? Yes and no. It's definitely worth some hype because it was a better than good movie. But I wouldn't go around saying it's the best, either. Why? Because...

4. I'm not a fan of superhero movies. Plain as that. I like psychological thrillers like Saw, mobster movies like Scarface, and movies that challenge some societal issue like Crash. Out of the superhero movies I've seen, it's the best as far as acting and action go. But I couldn't bring myself to say it's the absolute best movie I've ever seen because, well, it's not.

Do I recommend seeing it?? ABSOLUTELY. It's worth the cost of the ticket. Don't bring the whole family though. Some stupid woman brought her little babies, and one girl was just screaming and laughing and talking and some guy behind us said "Control your offspring!" which of course was just hilarious. I wouldn't take my 10 and 7 year old cousin to see it either because I don't know how well they would take the maniacal and freakishly creepy nature of the Joker. But all you mature adults and teenagers out there, go see the movie. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More Fun Stuff About Me...WooHoo!!

Just in case you didn't hear enough about me in my last post, here's more fun facts!! (In case, of course, any of these questions is the million dollar question on Jeopardy one day. Hey, you never know!)

1. What's your latest addiction?- whooo too many to name...

2. What are you listening to?- Silence. And it sounds wonderful.

3. How late did you stay up last night and why?- 9:00pm. I put on a few episodes of South Park, ate some Flamin Hots and that was that.

4. Who were you with last friday night? - Amardo

5. Do you think you will be in a relationship 3 months from now?- I most certainly will be

6. When is the next time you’ll see your close friends?- Um...whenever we all stop being lazy

7. What were you doing this morning at 7am?- Styling my hair, running late

8. What radio station do you listen to the most?- 92.3 Power 92

9. What was the reason you last cried?- A moment of regret over my latest big decision

10. Have you ever talked to someone when they were high?- heh heh heh are you kidding high people offer some of the best conversations...

11. What’s the fifth text in your inbox say?- Your stomach finna hurt (I was trying to convince Amardo that eating flamin hots with cheese, skittles and graham cracker ice cream with a glass of iced tea was a good idea lol)

12.Where was the last coffee shop u go?- STARBUCKS

13.Whats ur outfit right now?- gray jeans and white/black track jacket

16. What were you doing at 11pm last night?- Sleeping

17. Who was the last person you talked to last night before bed? Amardo

18. Will you be driving in a year?- With as much as I'm paying for that truck I'd better be

19. Is there anything that you are craving right now?- Heh heh we won't mention that on the blog

20. When did your last hug take place?- This morning my mom gave me a hug when I left the house

22. Have you ever started a sentence with “No offense, but…”?- Yes. But I don't do it anymore because I usually try not to say stuff to offend people, and if I mean to offend them (or if I'm just teasing) there's no need to say it anyway :P

23. Do you drink tea?- Absolutely! It makes up for the caffeine after I've drank my coffee for the day!

24.Have you ever been arrested?- I wish I WOULD get arrested. If I ever went to jail I might as well stay there cuz anything they put me through there is better than the punishment I'd get when I got home.

25. Have you rode in someone else’s car today?- NOPE!!!! Muahahahahaha (though I might later, I dunno)

26. Have you made a mistake this past week?- Of course. Mistake making is a vicious cycle.

27. Who was the last person you texted?- Amardo

28. Are you happy with your life right now?- Yes. Things aren't all peachy keen but I'm blessed with great people

29. In the past 72 hours have you been under the influence?- wait... *counting*...no!!

30. What’s the connection between you and the last person you texted?- he's my boyfriend


Thanks to JK and Nancy for putting this on their blog and tagging everyone...it's really a fun questionnaire!

I'm being hit by the laziness bug soooo...I'm tagging everyone in my blog roll (stole this idea lol)! Take the time to answer it...it's actually really fun!

Monday, July 21, 2008

10 Things About Me...

So here's the deal: I guess I gotta write 10 random facts about myself that you guys don't know.

10 random things about me, eh?

Hmm...

1. I cry when I laugh, almost every time.
2. My favorite show EVER is South Park.
3. I trained myself to be ambidextrous from 2nd to 6th grade. Unfortunately, laziness struck so now I can only use my right hand.
4. I love to eat oranges but I hate orange juice.
5. I was born in Germany but raised in the US. The first language I learned was German, but due to lack of practice I can't speak it anymore :(.
6. When I was young I wanted to be a firefighter.
7. My middle name is Renee (pronounced reh-nay, for those who were wondering).
8. I was told I was legally blind in 2nd grade. Needless to say, I don't think that doctor quite knew what he was talking about.
9. I love to draw. I can't say I'm any good, though.
10. I can't work in silence.

Wow. That was much harder to think of than I thought :P

Thanks, caffeinated muse, for the tag!!

And now, I'd like to pass the greatness on to One-Eighteen, JK/Nancy, KC, and Raft3r. Go at it, guys!

Hmmm...

I don't know whether I just made the best or worst decision of my life.

On the one hand, the benefits of my latest decision are innumerable. So many more of life's doors have opened to me that were once tightly sealed.

On the other hand, I could have just made a decision that could take me decades to reverse, if I ever could. This is something I could be paying for for the rest of my life.

I think I'll just show you a picture of what I did:


















Yes, folks. I bought a car.

She's my 2005 Chevy Trailblazer LS. She's really gray but the picture doesn't show the color well. Silly 2.0 megapixel Sidekick camera!!

And yes, "she" is a she.

She's got great handling, awesome breaks and acceleration, and features that I suppose come standard with newer cars, like cruise control and Onstar. The drivers side door stays unlocked if the key is in the ignition, preventing me from locking myself out of the car (something I'm very apt to do). There's also some other really cool things that come with it that I read about in the user manual but haven't been able to try out because of the weather.

The car is a big car, but it's not a huge problem to maneuver because I'm used to driving minivans, not regular sized cars. It's also only a 5 seater so it's not as much of a goliath as some other SUVs (and with 6 cylinders, it's not as much of a gas guzzler, either).

She's got A4WD, (4 wheel drive) and more even powerful settings, so I'll be okay in the winter months when the snow comes down (that'll be good). And once I go away to school I'll only be driving from my job and back which shouldn't waste too much gas.

We'll see how this goes.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Weekly PA Confession

Hi, my name is Demiera.
(Your turn)Hi Demiera!
I've...uh...(pause)
(Your turn again) C'mon Demiera, you can do it!! We did it!!
*Sigh* Well, I have a problem. I'm a...um...procrastinator. I've been a procrastinator for as long as I can remember. I just can't seem to help myself anymore. First I put off doing silly things like washing the dishes. Then it was phone calls. I even put this post off until the very last minute and I only wrote it to avoid doing something else!
(Gasp, sympathetic "awwww")
Way too perky moderator guy: Demiera, when's the last time you procrastinated?
Um...obviously I'm still doing it...
Way too perky moderator guy: We can help you fight the urge to put things off!
I can fight the urge myself. It's just that I'm waiting for the right time to actually start fighting.
Way too perky moderator guy: What better time than now?
Tomorrow. When I finish this post.

To be continued when I have something better to do...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Untitled

I sat down yesterday in front of my old but trusty piano, positioning my fingers above the keys. My back was straight, with one foot stretched and resting gently on the sustain pedal, the other curled under the seat. I glanced back up at the music in front of me, then pressed those fingers down.

Nothing.

Sure, sound was emanating from the piano, but it wasn't anything like how I used to play the song. A few chords in and my mind went blank. What was going on?

I tried, again and again, to resuscitate the dying spark that was once beautiful piano playing. I studied the music. I tapped a few uncooperating keys. But it seemed to be gone. I had once played this song with ease, almost being able to do it with my eyes closed if it weren't so complicated. But now the notes wafting on the air were nothing but a memory.

I stood up and walked around, berating myself for not having caressed those ivory keys in a long while. Maybe it's too hot in here, I thought, so I changed clothes to no avail. Those keys were mad at me, all 88 of them, and they were determined to see me fail.

The worst thing a pianist can do is think about what they're doing.

The realization hit like a warm summer rain: surprising yet refreshing. I'd been spending so much time thinking that I'd forgotten to just let my fingers do what they do best.

I took my glasses off. If I couldn't see the sheet music, I couldn't try to read it. I closed my eyes, tilted my head back, and took a deep breath, positioning my fingers atop those lovely worn keys for one last try.

And it happened. Not immediately, because I still wanted to think. My brain didn't want to surrender to my fingers. And every time I messed up, I knew it was the battle between my brain and my fingers. But after a few tries, and almost without realizing it, I had played the song every bit as fluidly, clearly, and soulfully as I did months ago. Unable to believe it, I played it again, and almost surprised myself with the dramatic crescendos and sustains and suspenseful pauses that I seemed to automatically inject from place to place.

Then I picked up momentum and switched from the powerful song I had just played to a more subtle song. I had worried earlier with this one as well because I couldn't even remember how the song went, much less think about starting it. My first few tries were threatening...my brain, sensing the new opportunity to take control, once again fought my fingers but lost. By the third try I had it and I could feel the energy surging from my fingertips. My eyes were closing and I began to sway with the music, pressing the keys as if I were dancing. Before I was quite ready to end the experience, the song ebbed away on its final soft notes.

And for those few seconds while I sat there, the last note still echoing in my head, heart pounding, everything was perfect.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

And The Names Are...

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have named their twins!!

Ohboyohboyohboy. *Rubbing hands in anticipation*

Drumroll please....

Their names are......

Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline!!!!!

Hmmmm.

I automatically jumped into my painfully sardonic way of analyzing things, but my avalanching spiral of negative criticizing came to a grinding halt when I came to a realization.

The names aren't really all that bad.

(Whaaaat?? Did she just say that? Yes. You can pick your jaw up off the floor now.)

All things considered, especially with the recent turn of baby names in Hollywood, the names aren't all that bad. Outdated, maybe, but livable.

Of course, I'm not saying they're the best names. And "thou shalt not demean your son by giving him a two syllable name while giving his twin sister a 6 syllable name" should be a Naming Commandment. Knox Leon doesn't quite roll off the tongue like a name should, and as I just mentioned it's much too simple a name.

But I expected MUCH worse.

In Vivienne's case, they should get credit for choosing something that is unique enough without being over the top (albeit antiquated). And Marcheline is okay. It's not something I'd name my daughter but it's not horrible.

The names get a "thumbs at a 45 degree angle" from me. They're slightly better than "okay" but nowhere near the "Seal of Name Approval".

The Palm Treo 800w...now that's more like it!!


Attention all you Sprintheads [and I mean that in the most respectful way possible ;)]:

Yesterday Sprint announced the release of a new phone: The Palm Treo 800w.

As far as looks go, I don't see how it looks much different from the Palm Centro, which was released late last year.

But it seems to be pretty cool in functionality, boasting the ability to process at broadband speed, or the same speed you would see if using a computer. It has a touchscreen (of course), QWERTY keypad, A2DP Bluetooth technology, GPS, and Windows Mobile, to name a few. The camera is 2.0 megapixels with flash and a video recorder. It also offers Voicemail controls.

People are speculating that this is yet ANOTHER substitute for the iPhone. And with a price tag of $249 after discounts and rebates with a two-year contract, I think maybe this phone may be worth the plunge (after all, Treos are rather dependable and let's face it, they've been out for a while so they know what they're doing by now).

Commitment - Obviously a Foreign Term in Favre's Vocabulary

DISCLAIMER: I am not a huge football fan. I barely know the rules of the game. The only reason I follow the game AT ALL is because I like the Bears. And my boyfriend is a HUGE football nut, so I have no choice BUT to watch.

So I'm going to approach this from a very
common sense point of view.

That being said...

Brett. What are you doing? You can't retire and then decide months later, "Oh, just kidding, I really didn't wanna retire, I was forced into it!! I wasn't 100% committed then but I am now!!"

Nice to know you think a team should pay you millions of dollars a year to half ass your job, then get angry when you say you aren't committed and they move on.

"I wasn't committed to retirement."

It's also nice to know that we can officially add "retirement", along with "child-rearing" and "AA support groups" to the list of things you apparently don't need to commit to. Looks like we have the Jay-Z of football on our hands.

And while we're on the subject, Brett Favre seems to have a commitment problem. I wonder how that made his past girlfriends feel?

Brett either wants to return as a starter or be released so that he can look for playing opportunities elsewhere. But he also says in his interview that he can't envision being anything but a Packer. Hmmm.

The Packers said, "Nuh-uh," and for good reason. If Brian Urlacher decided to retire from the Bears and then wanted to play the game again, I wouldn't want him on another team's defense. That's like...traitor...ism.

Here is video of the first part of the interview, and there will be a second part airing today on Fox News.




I can't really do much else to comment on this because I'm only really interested in football when the Bears are winning. Oh, and watching the draft was pretty cool too just to see all the guys get all worked up over everything.

But all of the football fans out there who come across this, feel free to comment.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A New Type of Blackberry?

As if you didn't have enough of the iPhone substitutes...

2 months ago, Blackberry first advertised their new phone which promises to be...touchscreen?

Yes, you read right. A touchscreen Blackberry.

I've never been much of a fan of the Blackberry because I always thought they were too boxy and, well, they were never touchscreen!


Actually a rather pretty phone



A screen shot of the Blackberry Thunder in landscape mode. It offers a rather simple keyboard and a not very attractive interface. *Sigh*


Not quite sure about this condensed keyboard they've got here in portrait view, but I guess it's worth a try for those who want to try it.

According to Crackberry.com, the keyboard is supposed to be even easier to manipulate than the iPhone 3G's keyboard, with all sorts of other Internet connectivity perks that I suppose you would expect from a Blackberry.

The Blackberry Thunder is expected to come out in September, released on the coattails of the Blackberry Bold. The Thunder is expected to cost $400 with a two year contract with...are you ready...Verizon Wireless or Vodafone.

Never fear, those who don't like Verizon or Vodafone: if Verizon doesn't meet its quota, the exclusiveness ends and the phone becomes fair game. Boycott early sales of the Thunder! Make it available to other services!!

We'll see how this turns out.


HTC Touch Diamond...the next iPhone??

Up until recently with the Cingular 8125, HTC was the name of a phone maker that was not in my vocabulary. They have been leading the pack lately, however, in touch screen smart phones.

Now HTC is coming out with a family of beautiful touch screen phones, with the much anticipated Touch Diamond as the most talked about cell phone next to the iPhone.


The HTC Touch Family


The Touch Diamond (left) and Touch Pro (right)




Does this phone look like a super phone? Absolutely. Is it a superphone? You bet your next week's paycheck it is.

The Touch Diamond features a 2.8 inch touch screen, with four times the megapixels as regular phone screens. For those of you Internet buffs who can't imagine a phone without Internet connectivity, the TD allows for a broadband-like Internet connection allowing you to watch streaming Youtube videos, Google, and Wikipedia just like you would if you were on an actual computer. All about the pictures? The camera offers a whopping 3.2 megapixel rate, allowing for gorgeous pictures and video. And for those like me who like to carry their life around in pictures and music, the phone allows for 4GB of hard drive space!! WOW!!

The Touch Diamond is set to release in September, tentatively the 2nd, according to The Boy Genius Report.

Unfortunately, it's being released by Sprint, leaving those of us who prefer good service and sim cards out of the loop.

But you may be able to order your very own version of the phone online directly from the HTC website when the phone is finally released.

As always, I'll post as events develop.

Tony Hawk's Limited Edition SKLX... and a Sidekick 2008??

Don't you just HATE it when you buy the newest phone a service releases just to find out a week after buying it that a newer version of the phone you just bought is on its way?

That's how I felt when I first bought my Sidekick LX in midnight blue, only to realize that T-Mobile rolled out a Tony Hawk Limited Edition Sidekick LX on July 9th to existing T-Mobile customers and will be offering it to new customers on July 16th.




The new Sidekick LX will be equipped with video playback and recording, A2DP Bluetooth (don't ask me what that is, I have no idea), and enhanced Internet browsing. Never fear, fellow Sidekick LX users who were pissed that the new Tony Hawk LX has all these goodies and we don't...T-Mobile is rolling out an OTA (Over The Air) Update over the next few weeks so that we can enjoy these services too.

Honestly, this new LX looks cool and all but for those who already own an LX, there's no point in upgrading to the Tony Hawk LX. Once you receive the update, it won't be any different.

The Sidekick Gecco, Gekko...One of those things

Word on the street is that T-Mobile is launching an even NEWER Sidekick that has been referred to in cellular circles as the "Gecco" but may be known as the Sidekick 2008.

Interesting.

The Sidekick Gecco/Gekko/Gecko/2008 (!!) seems to be a step up from the LX in customization options with it's myriad interchangeable skins. It will also have video recording and enhanced Bluetooth. No word yet on mp3 ringtone capability, which I'm sure phone geeks everywhere are STILL trying to hack for the LX. I'll be waiting for that new development.

The SK2008 (as I'll refer to it from now on) has a price tag of $299, which is cheaper than $399 for the LX.

I'll be following the progress of this highly anticipated Sidekick and will update as events warrant.

Special thanks to hiptop3.com and BreathTMobile for the article and pictures used to write most of this post.



First Award Ever!!

Oh. Em. Gee.

I would like to announce that I have been given my VERY FIRST AWARD for blogging!! You can find the original award at the Fab and the Furious. If you haven't been to their blog, YOU'RE MISSING OUT!!


An award for our fellow bloggers: A medal for their madness for blogging.



I would also like to congratulate F&F for winning Idol Blog '08!! Good job, guys!! And thanks for the award!!!

Obama Does NOT Equal Osama, People



Somebody should have gone up to whoever created this magazine cover, said, "Dude...", then slapped them.

Then somebody should have gone to whoever out of Obama's compatriots got terribly offended, said "Get over yourself," and slapped them too.

No doubt, New Yorker's new magazine cover may not have been made in the best taste. Having Barack Obama dressed as the stereotypical "terrorist" standing in front of a picture of who appears to be Osama Hussein, and Michelle Obama as an afro-ed woman in camoflage, wasn't exactly the best way to depict the couple.

But I don't honestly believe the New Yorker made the cover to insult the Obama family at all. They explained, in their own defense, that the purpose of the cover was to satirize the stereotypes about the Obama family, not to slander his campaign, and I believe them. I believe the cover was a huge misunderstanding.

In Obama's defense, he has been receiving a lot of criticism and has had a lot of controversy over things people have been saying about him. This is just another apple on the tree.

Personally, I think the caricature is funny. The fact that it's gaining so much publicity (even from me) makes it even funnier.

Dude...it's a magazine cover...if people want to vote for you, they're not going to change because of some tasteless magazine cover. They're going to say, "This is some bullshit that I don't need to waste my time over." You should do the same.


What Kind of Thinker Are You??

I was bloghopping and found another exciting quiz that I just HAD to take. Thanks to Jihan for featuring this quiz on your blog...awesome!!




Your Thinking is Concrete and Sequential



You are precise, orderly, and realistic.

You tend to get to the point and get things done.

Difficult, detailed work is easy for you. You take things step by step.

Time limits aren't a problem for you either. You work well with deadlines.

What does drive you crazy is any sort of task that isn't precisely laid out.

You don't like anything to be ambiguous. You prefer to deal with the facts at hand.


I would like to point out that I left a job because my boss could never give me exact instructions for a task and I never knew exactly what I needed to do at any given time.

I should also mention that my notes for any type of analysis is a series of step by step instructions.

This is another quiz that perfectly describes me!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

My Lovely Laptop


This is to pay homage to one of the few members of my "Tech Inner Circle" (I call them the TIC for short): my laptop.

While not the first laptop I've ever owned, my HP Pavilion dv9700z series notebook is without a doubt the best.

My laptop brings ALL the kids to the yard, young and old. It seems to attract a lot of attention everywhere it goes; for one, it's HUGE. That's a 17" widescreen you're looking at there...much bigger than some people's televisions. It's got a sleek black wave design on the outside and sports a shiny silver surface for the keyboard (which features it's very own separate numeric keypad. Heavenly!!)

More importantly, though, my laptop has everything a person could need. It's got a built in webcam and microphone, located above the screen (some of the pictures on this blog, especially in my post about my Sidekick LX, were taken with the webcam), 4 USB slots, an SD card slot, a TV expansion port, and (my favorite): a remote control!!

I've had this computer for almost a year now and it has remained my faithful companion (except for the one day an automatic update forced me to restore it to factory settings. I hate updates grrrr), always showing me crisp movies and allowing me to view everyone's lovely blog everyday and giving me great wireless Internet connectivity.

People don't always stop to think about just how much our computers do for us. I mean, my computer is my network to the world. Without it, I'm shut off from Internet society and from the wonderful world of DVDs (my television is so ancient I'm surprised it's still in color). My computer enables me to write and submit the articles I write so I can get paid. It holds all of my downloaded music so I can listen to it from my new computer speakers at home. It's portable (albeit heavy), so in theory I can carry it anywhere I go.

My computer is truly a great device. One day take some time and show your computer some love for everything it does for us :).

Addicted to Caffeine??

I realized Wednesday that in just a few weeks of drinking coffee everyday I've gotten myself addicted.

Wednesday was the day I went cold turkey for the day. That was the worst mistake I could have ever made. I was evil all morning and carried my bad attitude through the rest of the day, ending up going home and sleeping from 7 at night until 6 in the morning.

Thursday I drank my extra large hazelnut coffee from Dunkin Donuts like I had been trekking in a desert for hours on end. It tasted so good and so perfect. I was actually craving the drink.

I almost didn't get coffee today because my heart was already fluttering from a long night. I felt uneasy and anxious. But as I wrote my review for the iPhone, I realized I couldn't torture myself any longer and ran for the nearest Starbucks for a venti caramel frappuchino with a shot of espresso. YUM.

It may be crazy, but the first sip I took instantly calmed me down. I was mellowed and ready to go back to researching. I swear even the sun seemed to shine a little brighter.

Apparently if I don't have some coffee by 8 in the morning I'm doomed to have a bad day.

Add "caffeine addiction" to the list of things that just isn't the same anymore.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Add "Jesse Jackson" To The List of People Who Still Haven't Figured It Out

Ahh, Jesse Jackson. You've done it again.

"See, Barack been, um, talking down to black people on this faith based ... I want cut his nuts off ... Barack ... he's talking down to black people."



I heard about this on the news this morning as I was getting ready to leave. Of course, I couldn't remember what he'd said from the video clip but as soon as I got online I searched for more information.

Turns out, Jesse Jackson was taping an interview for FOX News about Barack Obama when he said the comment above and apparently more, thinking the microphones were off.

Of course, that doesn't excuse what he did.

Jackson's defended himself by saying that he disagrees with the way Barack Obama talks "down" to black people and doesn't like how Obama tells black men that "fatherhood doesn't end at conception". Jackson says that Obama should be focused on other problems in the black community like unemployment.

Jackson issued a statement shortly after clips of his inappropriate rant were shown on the O'Reilly Factor last night, apologizing to the presidential hopeful and stressing his support in the campaign.

Deep breath.

Jesse Jackson should have known better than to even make personal comments like that to a news reporter in the first place, and especially not on a network like FOX News. I want to clarify that I believe in full use of the First Amendment in its entirety and as an individual Jesse Jackson has the right to say whatever he wants to say and feel however he wants to feel. But if he wants to project an image of professionalism about himself, saying he wants to cut Obama's nuts off isn't quite the way to establish that image.

Having said that...

If you read my post about Ralph Nader accusing Barack Obama of talking white, you'd know how I feel about stereotypes being assigned to how a person speaks. Jackson implies that Obama speaks to blacks as if they are stupid. Barack Obama speaks how any educated person would speak, and he shouldn't have to (and would lose support if he did) talk to America the way we would talk to our friends. Obama should listen to Lupe Fiasco's "Dumb It Down", where Lupe says "They told me I should come down, cousin, but I flatly refused, I ain't dumbin down nothing". You don't know what condescending is until you sit in a room with a bunch of business professionals who think you won't know what a merger and acquisition is just because you're not nearing your late 40s. That's some condescending speech.

And while we're at it...

Sure, there are many problems in the African American community, but Barack Obama does RIGHT by calling out all of the deadbeat fathers out there who leave their wives and girlfriends to raise their child(ren) alone, including my own father. Jesse Jackson sounds like he felt personally attacked by Obama's comments.

So you stuck around to raise your son. You don't deserve a medal for that, Jackson, you don't even deserve a Hancock "good job", because that's what you're supposed to do. Get over yourself.

Jesse Jackson, if this is some attempt to get yourself in the limelight because there's a new poster boy for African Americans, you should feel ashamed of yourself.

And if that was really just how you felt, you should be even MORE ashamed of yourself for broadcasting such personal feelings in a very public venue to someone you don't even consider a friend.

How convenient that your first appearance on the O'Reilly Factor in the show's 11 year run is because you badmouthed Barack Obama.

Way to go.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

O Say, Can You Sleep and Text At The Same Time?

Wouldn't the world be nice if we could multitask sleep?

Yes, I fit the typical "busy American in a big city" stereotype. I walk down the street using as many electronic devices as I can carry while sipping my coffee. I eat, drive and text at the same time. I talk on the phone and watch South Park while painting my nails. Even right now I'm writing this blog post, eating yogurt, and texting Amardo, all while I'm technically "at work".

There is only one thing in the world you cannot multitask, though, and it's sleep.

Not to say that I've never tried.

I've tried sleeping while working, eating while sleep, watching TV sleep, and even texting or talking on the phone while sleep. I should mention that in these instances I don't mean I tried doing these things while in REM sleep...I mean when you're at that delicate spot between truly sleep and awake.

I can type while in this sleep limbo, and the sentences make sense as sentences, but the idea is completely alien. I fell asleep eating once, only to wake up, take a bite, fall back asleep, and continue this process until I had finally finished eating. Although I'm not sure if that qualifies as a sleep-eating attempt or is just a stunning reminder of just how much of a fatass I am :).

The funniest sleep multitasking attempt I make, though, is my attempt to text while sleep. Because of my ability to type with my eyes closed or focused elsewhere (which is why it's so easy for me to fall asleep while typing), I was under the false impression that I could send a text message while sleep. Let's just say being in that dreamy state between sleep and awake+acrylic nails+a failing space bar do not an intelligent text make.

Sleep is supposed to relax and refresh the body, so I suppose it's a good thing we can't do anything while sleeping. Then again, I'm one of those people who finds sleep a disposable thing in light of doing other, more enjoyable things.

I'll bet humans millions of years from now will evolve into creatures that can multitask while they're sleeping, because we spend so much time trying to do it now.

Lucky bastards.

Stop The Abuse or I'll Hit You

A study has shown that teenagers, and even children as young as 11, should be educated on abusive dating relationships.

Don't get me wrong, I agree that children should be educated about these types of relationships. But is education enough?

What these "experts" need to realize is that you can educate all you want but education alone won't do the trick. You have to factor in family backgrounds, environments, peer influences, the media, and all sorts of other things.

You can't teach someone how to avoid an abusive relationship because one can't exactly spot an abusive person from a mile away. Abusive people are very good at not looking abusive.

Teaching adolescents how to know if they're in an abusive relationship can be helpful, but that's like telling someone they have cancer without giving them any remedy options. And typically, the advice given to people who think they are in abusive relationships is to get away from it, to tell someone else or the authorities, etc., etc. This backfires because much of an abusive relationship is built upon fear. There is a reason someone being abused doesn't go to the authorities; the fear of the repercussions of that action far outweigh the fear of any abuse they are already suffering.

The only thing that can prevent abusive relationships is if people learn to respect each other. This is, of course, easier said than done.

Or you can always teach people my favorite quote: If you hit me, you'd better knock me the FUCK out because if you don't and I get back up I'm killing you.

Kind of negates the whole "abuse" thing, though.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What Fruit Are YOU?

I was bloghopping while waiting for the conditioner in my hair to do it's job and I ran across this great quiz on the Fab and the Furious
's blog. I just had to snatch it and put it on mine (seeing as I'm a compulsive online quiz taker). Awesome quiz, F&F!




You Are a Strawberry



You are friendly, outgoing, and well liked by many people.

You are popular, but there's nothing you ordinary or average about you.

You a very interesting person, and you have many facets to your personality.

Sometimes you feel very conflicted. Your different sides of your personality pull at you.

You are a very sensual and passionate person. You are fiery... you can't help it.

In general, you keep your passionate side under wraps. You are only wild in private.



This PERFECTLY describes me...like, it's almost scary how true every single one of these statements is!

Tuesday Daisy and Friday Daffodil...and no I'm not talking about days or flowers

Nicole Kidman gave birth to her first child with Keith Urban today, and following in the footsteps of so many celebrities before her, she named her child something you'd have to be high to appreciate: Sunday Rose Kidman Urban. Sunday Rose?




The rush for celebrities to name their children unique names has created a bandwagon in itself, almost so that the more unique the name the more of a follower you seem to be. Where have all the traditional names gone, and when can we have them back?

I'm not one to talk about unique names; my own name (Demiera) is one that you're not likely to find anywhere, especially not with the same spelling. The one thing I will say about my name is that it's actually a name...my mom didn't name me after the fruit she craved when she was pregnant (I couldn't walk around with a name like Banana) and she didn't name me after a number (can you imagine being named something like...One?) and she certainly didn't find as many common words as possible and throw them together to make what she thinks is nice, like Rain Summer Fresh.

Some "baby name expert" (because, of course, in this harsh world, you'll always need some random woman to tell you whether or not YOU properly named YOUR baby that YOU created) fawned over Sunday Rose, saying that it meant serenity. What exactly is so serene about a Sunday Rose that isn't just as serene on a Monday or Tuesday?

And might I add that "Kidman Urban" don't really allow for a fluid, peaceful name like "Sunday Rose"?

I certainly hope Sunday Rose upholds the serenity her name has pronounced for her because if not I vote her name be changed to Monday Thorn. It would certainly be more fitting.

"Sunday Rose" may be an adorable name for a fat happy baby but it kind of destines the child for Hippie-dom later in life. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, July 7, 2008

More Evidence that T-Mobile is THE Mobile Service

Ever since December of 2007, I've been a T-Mobile customer, and since then I've had nothing but glowing reviews to give. T-Mobile outranks all the rest in many aspects, but it's strong point is customer service.

I have YET to have a bad experience with a T-Mobile customer service representative. Every single one, from the time I started my service until today, has been absolutely nothing but polite and more than willing to solve my problems (and I call often). Whether I'm reporting a problem with my phone or billing or service, they are on call and always seem to have an answer to my issue. When I called to upgrade my text messages from 500 to unlimited, I got 200 extra texts free to last until the end of the month. When I was trying to use a Cingular phone with my T-Mobile sim card and had to call back at least 3 different times, they gave me everything I needed and if they didn't know the answer they wouldn't give up until they'd found it (Might I add, I called AT&T that day as well and neither customer service rep was as cheery and customer-driven as the ones at T-Mobile).

But today was truly miraculous. I called earlier to switch my rate plan from the unlimited messaging plan to the Sidekick plan, which everyone knows is absolutely necessary to optimize the whole Sidekick experience, and the customer service rep was wonderful. He told me that for being the nicest customer he's had all day, I would get 100 minutes added to my plan for free. Not that I really needed the extra minutes, but it was a nice gesture and of course I appreciated it.

However, when I checked my bill balance, I found that it was almost $100. Surprised (ya'll should know by now I don't take kindly to surprise expenses), I called back immediately. The rep i spoke to now told me that when you switch a rate plan, you have to pay two months in advance, which explained the high cost of the bill. What I didn't know was that if you get a rate plan switched and you don't pay for it when you switch it, your service gets suspended! Had I not checked and then called to inquire, I would have lost service at midnight (which might have changed my tone about T-Mobile just a little bit). For the inconvenience, the rep deducted a month of Sidekick service that I would have had to pay in advance (saving me almost $25), which means I get a month of Sidekick service for free.

T-Mobile truly cares about the customer, and as I said before, they have always found an answer to my questions or a solution to my problem, no matter how many problems I have or questions to answer. T-Mobile need not worry about losing this customer any time soon.

Hancock is Not Your Ordinary Superhero...and this is not your ordinary movie

Superhero movies have been running rampant: the likes of Daredevil, Superman, Spiderman, and Batman have been swimming across movie screens for years. Most of these movies feature the same premise: some ordinary guy gets splash by acid or bitten by an animal or exposed to gamma rays or some other quirk of fate, then they turn into a superhero by night who tons of people adore. They come to a climax where the enemy, who is always bigger and more powerful,
confronts them but the hero always comes out on top, gets the girl, and leads a normal life.

I've been drinking, bitch!

Hancock puts an end to the "same old, same old" routine of superheroes. Will Smith plays a seemingly homeless bedraggled Superman like character who seems to put the "super" in everything BUT "hero": Superdrunk, superdirty, supermean. This is the first superhero movie where the cost of wrecking a city to save the people is actually realized, and the city hates him for his high costs. When he saves the life of a PR man, however, his life is destined to change. There is obvious tension between the PR guy's wife and Hancock, and halfway through the movie the secret is revealed (telling you here will ruin the entire movie).

Handjob!!

Hancock was delightfully funny and a refreshing change from the superhero movies we're used to. I thoroughly enjoyed it and Will Smith really gave Hancock substance. Even the ending was just how I like it to be (but I won't divulge how that was either). It is definitely worth the $8.50 at the movies and a spot at the very top of my list of favorite super hero movies. Keep 'em coming, Will Smith.

Sidekick LX - The Un-Technical Review

There are many reviews of the Sidekick LX out there, with their technical specs and all of that nonsense. I'm presenting this phone through words, not numbers and measurements. Enjoy!

Sleek and Stylish


If you were wondering, the image on the phone screen is just a reflection of my computer screen.

Older models of Sidekicks tend to be large and bulky, and I expected no different from the LX. However, not only is the LX slim and relatively lightweight, it is also sleek and much more professional looking than I would have expected for a phone targeting a young audience.

The menu buttons were easy to understand after a few moments of playing around with it, and the trackball is easy to use. The swivel screen snaps quickly into place but it isn't idiot-proof so watch those fingers (I pinched my fingers twice yesterday). The phone also features a directional pad to the left which helps you quickly scroll down a screen.

C U L8er, LOL

Don't try one handed texting at home. You'll be disappointed.

I am a texting fiend. It's convenient because you can say one or two short lines without having to worry about awkward silences over the phone. If you don't want to have a conversation and you just want to make one statement, text messaging enables that. The LX is every texter's dream. The rubber keyboard is no slip and there is ample space between keys, reducing the number of typing mistakes. Girls with acrylic nail tips: have no fear! As you can see, I have acrylics and I thought texting would be a nightmare (it always was when I used my Treo and I had acrylics). The textured grip on the back of the phone adds texting comfort.

The texting interface is nice, although so far I'm having trouble going straight to a new message from the home screen (I imagine I should read the owner's manual for that).

But If You Do Wish To Talk...

Rest assured: you don't have to look at the phone while having a conversation!

I was concerned that talking on the Sidekick would be, at best, uncomfortable and at worst downright exasperating. It is surprisingly easy to hold or even cradle on your shoulder and has a really nice speaker (although the first time I used it I held it upside down. It took a few seconds to realize my mistake :P). The speakerphone does leave a little to be desired, however; the sound quality was a little distorted but I'm guessing it sounds fine on the other end because my friend didn't realize I had put her on speakerphone.


Yeah, Yeah, The Basics Are Great, But What About the Fun?

Completely engrossed in...whatever it was I was doing.

The LX offers many fun applications such as games and a word search (which has already proven invaluable) and also organizational features such as a place to write notes, an alarm clock, and a calendar. Because I'm still in the middle of a billing cycle, however, I can't try out the web browser yet although it looks promising. It also features a camera with flash (the picture of me and Amardo in my last post came from the camera) and an MP3 player.

My Conclusion

The Sidekick LX is by far one of the most exciting phones I've ever owned and certainly the most exciting that I've ever purchased. It is the perfect mix of multimedia and business applications. If you're looking for something sleek and stylish with tons of fun features and an awesome screen resolution, the Sidekick LX is the way to go!

Note: Don't pop the battery out of the phone without shutting it off first. It's like yanking your iPod out of the computer when it says "Do Not Disconnect". It's just not a good idea.




Holiday Update

Because of the weekend, I haven't been able to do much blogging (or any, for that matter) but I'm back for the week now in full effect.




This is me and Amardo on the train coming back from the Taste of Chicago. If you don't know, the Taste of Chicago is a HUGE thing for us Chicagoans. Millions of people come out once a year to taste all sorts of food from Chicago establishments. Most notable are the Harold's Chicken (with the mild sauce you get ONLY in Chicago) and Eli's Cheesecake, which had the most heavenly turtle cheesecake I've ever tasted. If you're ever in the Chicago area around the Fourth of July and you want some really good food (and you don't mind crowds) come out to the Taste of Chicago.

Update #2: I got my new phone, and I absolutely love it! I love it so much that it's going to get it's very own blog post in just a little bit.

That's it for my holiday update for now...look for new posts shortly.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

What's the Bigger Crime: Copyright Infringement or the Privacy Violation of a Nation?

I'm the juggernaut, bitch...I'm gonna kill him and I'm gonna rape him and I'm gonna eat his fucking costume, just wait...

Does anyone remember the "Juggernaut" video on Youtube that featured a hilarious voiceover of portions from the cartoon? I had downloaded it onto my iPod at the time and would listen to it at work when I felt angry or stressed. It always brought a smile to my face.

Of course, the video was pulled soon after by Viacom, citing copyright infringement.

Now, it has been ruled that Google must give Viacom a list of all the videos any Youtube viewer has ever watched, along with that viewer's log-in ID and IP address.

What for?

So what if I've viewed the Juggernaut video, and others like it that have been pulled for copyright infringement, many times? I'm not viewing it to take funds away from Viacom (and, in the case of the Juggernaut video, it isn't even something Viacom would have in the first place). I'm not trying to make Viacom lose lots of money. So why do they need to know my log in ID and IP address and any video I've ever watched? What good is this information to them?

They say they want it just to build a case against Google. But what about my own privacy rights? Or has the Internet become a venue that somehow slips through the loophole of First
Amendment protection?

Google assures the people that it won't divulge any personally identifiable information to Viacom. Bullshit! A log-in ID sounds pretty personally identifying to me. My log-in can EASILY be traced back to me. And then what?

Let me first say that if Google has to turn over any information, it shouldn't include user's log-in information OR their previously viewed videos. If Viacom wants to build a case against Google, and that's ALL Viacom wants to do, they don't need my personal information, or anyone else's, to do it.

Viacom seems to be taking the slogan mess with me and I'll sue you way too far. People of Viacom, maybe you can offer a little insight to a regular layperson like me by telliing me what exactly you intend to accomplish by suing Google. You'll get a couple million dollars (supposing you win) so you can take your incessant whining to a rich corner somewhere and suck your thumbs in contentment.

But guess what: it won't stop the copyright infringement. You can sue Google all you want, but if you're really suing for what you say you are, money won't solve anything. Someone who has permanently suffered some damage, like a lost leg, can sue for all the damages they want but like it or not, they'll never get that leg back and they learn to live with it, even to embrace it.

Entertainment isn't the way it used to be, Viacom. It is changing, and instead of you throwing a privacy violating temper tantrum about it, you should learn to adapt to the change and use it to your advantage. It's much better than a stupid court case.

Celebrating 5 Years of Cell Phone Bliss - Amendment

I was sitting here, scrolling through my post on cell phones and just realized I'd done something very bad...I left one out!!



The HTC 8525 is the newest phone I've gotten, so it belongs between the slate gray Razr and the blue Sidekick on my list. I forgot about this phone because it was given to me but because it's a Cingular phone and I have T-Mobile, I wasn't able to use it. Normally you can put in certain codes to unlock a locked phone but unfortunately mine just wasn't working. But had I been able to use it, this phone would have put my allegiance to my Treo to the test. With a touchscreen, slide out QWERTY keyboard, and Windows Mobile, I have the feeling this phone would have made it to the top of my favorites list VERY quickly. I still have this one at home, too, trying to figure out if I should just use it as an organizer, alongside my Sidekick, or just sell it.

This brings my total up to 9 owned phones, soon to be 10. I think this is it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Celebrating 5 Years of Cell Phone Bliss

Here is a picture list of all of the phones I've owned since 2o03. It's long but hey, it was fun to make!





This beauty, the Nokia 6800, was the first phone I ever had. I got it just a week and a half after it was first advertised. It has a full QWERTY keyboard. I was starting freshman year of high school... needless to say, my phone generated all the right publicity. It didn't have a camera, but back then most phones didn't so that was nothing special. I still miss my Nokia 6800.




The V551 was next in line. It was my first camera phone, and I asked for it because my uncle had one and I thought it was cool. I actually had two of these; I lost the first in an unfortunate coffee spilling accident, and I actually still have the second one at home. It was the first phone I downloaded polyphonic ringtones onto (they were still the little ghetto adaptations of songs, but they weren't that bad).




I thought I was the cat's bananas when I got this beautiful Motorola Razr. At the time, Razrs were still ridiculously popular and they had just come out with this black one. Everybody else had the yucky silver Razrs, while mine was sleek and professional. I had my first real ringtones on this phone. 




Ahh, the Palm Treo 650. It made it difficult to go back to regular phones without touchscreens and QWERTY keyboards. This phone managed my life, with its calendar and alarms and reminders and EVERYTHING! The only thing was that it didn't have the ringtones I was accustomed to, but I convinced myself that a business-like phone had no place for silly ringtones. I felt even more accomplished because I had jobs that required me to dress professionally and this phone was always a great accessory. I had it for a long time and it had suffered a broken antenna (fixed with superglue), a lost stylus, and just about anything else I could throw at it. Until I lost it. *Sigh*



Most people in the US don't know about this gem of a phone because it's imported and I don't think I was really supposed to get my hands on it. It's the Motorola v80 and it is one of the most awesome phones EVER, with its blinking lights and swivel screen. This phone was the very first phone I had bought with my own money... my uncle, who also paid my bill, had bought all the others. But I wanted a change from what I had, so I sprang for this one. Unfortunately, it stopped working a few weeks after I bought it :(. The picture resolution was amazing, though. This is another one of those attention-getting phones, this time because nobody had ever seen anything like it.



Discouraged by the failure of my Motorola, and wanting to compensate for the myriad features on my Treo, I decided to purchase this LG F7900. As far as phones go, it caters heavily to those who don't need anything but to receive calls and send texts. It was pretty, though, and the slider action was nice. It didn't have a camera but hey, that's what my Treo was for.



The Nokia 7870: another gem of a phone you won't see much of around here. I LOVED this phone because absolutely NOBODY has it. The texting interface is amazing, and the picture caller ID makes the Razr's caller ID look archaic. I even miss the factory ring tones that came with this phone. The camera was different because it was the first phone I'd ever seen where you actually held the phone like a camera to take a picture (months later, many phones have that feature). The swivel motion was cool because unlike my other swivel phone, it could move either way (left or right) and even could lock in the middle, making a right angle for picture taking. I still have this phone, I just need to purchase a charger for it.
 


This Razr V3 in slate gray is the phone I'm using currently. I bought it when I finally took my phone bill out from under my uncle's name and purchased my own plan with T-Mobile (switching from AT&T/Cingular). It's a fine phone, but the screen is cracked from being in my back pocket so I desperately need a new phone. It gets me my text messages, though, and helps me make calls, and I'll always hold this phone dear because it symbolizes my own freedom and assumption of responsibility.




And this beautiful Sidekick LX in blue, folks, is my new phone. Technically, it's not mine yet because it isn't in my hands yet. But within 2 days it will be and I can say goodbye to my cracked phone woes. 

8 phones (soon to be 9), 5 years (on July 9th), countless memories.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

test test

Just testing

A Freak Accident

It was a disturbing text that my aunt showed me Sunday night: "Teen decapitated by roller coaster". I was trying to enjoy some jerk catfish at the time, but found it difficult to eat after I'd seen the words. My mind flashed back to the times I've rode a roller coaster, and I wondered how I would react to seeing my fellow rider suddenly lose his/her head in the middle of the ride. Were the people around the teen stunned? Emotionally scarred for life? What about the operators of the ride or the people waiting in line? All it ever took for me to refuse a ride was hearing a few too many screams. I can't imagine how I'd feel had I seen something like that.  

As usual, though, I have to do some background research, because when I hear a story it's always missing an important detail. Plus, I wanted to know what had caused this freak accident to happen. And then I found out. 

The teenager had ignored signs stating that the area was restricted and even dangerous to park visitors, and had jumped a fence. It is thought that he was trying to retrieve a hat. No hat is worth losing your life over. 

He probably didn't think he'd get hurt. He figured he'd just jump over the fence real quick, grab his hat, then come back. He could tell all his buddies that he'd tempted fate and won. 

This is one of those moments when you shake your head but you can't decide if you feel worse because the family lost their son or because it was such a senseless death. You want to feel bad, but at the same time you battle a serves him right mentality because his death was completely avoidable. 

It is stories like these that make me believe even more that common sense is really not so common.

Keep Your Orders to Yourself!

I walked into Starbucks this morning, anticipating a delicious venti caramel macchiato with an extra shot of espresso. As is usual for a location amid three trains and as many buses, it was pretty full. The barista was asking for orders all the way down the line, and even though I was fourth in line, she asked for my order. Drawing a deep breath, I had to shout venticaramelmacchiatowithanextrashotandwhippedcream across the room.

I hate having to shout things across the room, especially if I'm ordering. Can you imagine the horror of having to shout your order, say, at a pharmacy?

"I'd like a morning after pill."
"I'm here to pick up my herpes medication."
"I need a tube of Preparation H." (haaaa)

And what if I were being a wimp today and ordered a hot chocolate? Can you imagine the whispers I'd get from customers? No, when you go in Starbucks you have to be on your A-game. You can't let the business people in their suits who always seem pressed for time outdo you. Your macchiato is just as important as their lowfat vanilla chai.

*****

I was sitting on the train one day and overheard a woman talking with her friend. They somehow breached the subject of Starbucks coffee, and I perked my ears.

Voulez vouz coucher avec moi?

It became obvious after just a few moments which was the "once every two weeks" Starbucker and which was the "I might as well own this place" person. She even had her very own "foreign order", which is what I've dubbed those orders spoken so fast the barista would think you weren't even speaking in English. There was less coffee ordering in her string of syllables, however, than there was in size specification, milk specification, and whether or not to have whipped cream or sugar. She couldn't even take whole milk or 2%; she had to ask for yucky skim. Eeeeyuck. You might as well have just asked for water.

But then again, "water" just doesn't sound as spectacular.

My Thoughts