What to do When Twitter Goes Down

Since Twitter is down right now, and has been for almost two hours, I decided to put together a coping mechanism of what we can all do the next time this happens.

  • Actual work, people:  Raise your hand if you’re guilty of running a Twitter client all day at work, checking incessantly, periodically, or once a month, if you’re Sarah!  We all are.  I’d like to think all of us can multitask, and our productivity won’t take a hit, but when the site is down for more than ten seconds, the ensuing world-wide stoppage begs to differ.
  • Catch up on some reading:  We rely on Twitter for all our breaking news – let’s be honest.  How many of you have completely stopped even going to web pages like CNN for news?  Remember that favorite blog you haven’t read in six months?  Have at it.  Twitter may be done, but the rest of the WWW isn’t (we hope)!
  • Update your blog with a meaningless list
  • Remind people that wasting time worrying about the fall of KStew & RPatt speaks to the kind of society we live in now:  Wait, what?  As I was taking my own advice on the reading suggestion, all I could see anywhere is stupid story after story of that trick from Twilight flashing her lady business to a married man and now her boyfriend is moving out.  Snore.  Could not care less.  Also, for those of you who wish you had fame and fortune, this is a good example of privacy being worth a lot more.  Not that I feel bad for her, she brought this on herself – but going through this being watched by the entire country sounds somewhat less fun than say, having to read the Twilight trilogy followed by 50 Shades of Grey (followed by gouging your eyes out because you just read 4,000 pages of total garbage).
  • Rejoice when Twitter starts working again.

Penn State/Aurora/Things That Don’t Matter

The JoePa statue came down today – but at least six months too late…minimum.  JoePa’s reputation was already in the gutter, next to the remnants of Tara Reid’s career.  I don’t know about you, but I will always remember him as one monster who protected another.  His football success is meaningless, everything he did for Penn State ultimately no longer matters because what he ACTUALLY did was drag the school into the worst/largest/unspeakable scandal in sports history by way of protecting a known child rapist.  Way to keep that legacy alive, JoePa.

I don’t give a shit that he funded the library or anything else that he did that could be considered remotely positive.  He allowed a predator to roam free on campus for 13 years and ruin countless lives because he decided football and his legacy were more important.  I only wish he lived to see the legacy he worked so hard to protect completely ruined.  Ironic, isn’t it?

The theater shootings in Aurora are still resonating rather loudly – as they should be.  Innocent lives cut short for no apparent reason.  The victim’s families have asked that we remember their names rather than the suspect’s.  To be completely honest, I have no idea what his name is, nor do I care, unless it becomes part of a headline that reads “(NAME) Locked in 6×8 Prison Sell With Jerry Sandusky, a Machete, and a Pair of Pliers.  Have at it, Darwin!”  Is that headline too long?  I really don’t care.

Which brings me to things that don’t matter – the Bachelorette (fake), all installments of the Real Housewives (if I wanted to see bitches screaming at each other, I’d just go to Durkins), Jerseylicious (achieves the rare feat of being trashier than Jersey Shore)…why do things like this exist?

I mean, sure, stick me on a tropical island, all expenses paid with 25 dudes and I’ll fall in love too.  So yes, I somehow jumped from JoePa to why I don’t want to read live Tweets of the Bachelorette season finale because again – WHO CARES?  So may bigger things going on than trash reality TV.  My TV is off this evening.

Things That Make No Sense

I woke up this morning to the AWFUL news out of Aurora, Co. that a gunman had opened fire at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie, killing 12 and injuring 50.

Of those killed was Jessica Redfield, an aspiring sports journalist.  Jessica’s real last name was Chawi, but she chose to go by Redfield for this reason.  The outpouring of grief over the loss of this extremely talented and beautiful 24-year old is gut-wrenching to read.

Standing out of course is her brother’s blog and tweets.

What makes Jessica’s death even harder to stomach is that last month, a gut feeling led her out of the food court at Eaton Centre in Toronto, where just minutes later a man opened fire and killed two people (side note:  I would respectfully request that my sister, brother-in-law, and nieces never go back there ever again, please and thanks).

While I read her last blog entry about this incident, I am fighting back tears.

This excerpt is especially moving:

I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday. I saw the terror on bystanders’ faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath. For one man, it was in the middle of a busy food court on a Saturday evening.

I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.

I feel like I am overreacting about what I experienced. But I can’t help but be thankful for whatever caused me to make the choices that I made that day. My mind keeps replaying what I saw over in my head. I hope the victims make a full recovery. I wish I could shake this odd feeling from my chest. The feeling that’s reminding me how blessed I am. The same feeling that made me leave the Eaton Center. The feeling that may have potentially saved my life.

I would say she absolutely was NOT overreacting.  She experienced something awful that day, and embraced fully the life she was living.  For that event to be life-changing is normal.  It only makes me more upset we will never be able to experience her success and potential.

Why does it take senseless tragedies like the one early this morning for us to realize how lucky we are?

Why did Jessica, who escaped one tragedy, have to fall victim to another?

Why are 11 other people dead, including a SIX-YEAR OLD CHILD??

I am sitting here, unable to fathom why this deranged lunatic would go into a theater and open fire on innocent people.

In reading an updated article in the Tribune, I stumbled across the following:

“This is one of the most horrific nights I’ve ever had to work,” said Comilla Sasson, an emergency doctor at University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora where 22 patients ranging in age from three months to 45 years arrived in private cars, police cars and ambulances.

So often we become stressed at work or and whether I remind myself or a friend I always say that the stress will come and go but at least we’re not saving lives.  If I make a mistake at work, no one dies.  I am not called upon to deal with life-threatening injuries and my heart also goes out to the ER staff that worked towards saving the injured.

It has been very hard for me to go about my day today as more details of the event unfolds.  I am struggling to concentrate as my heart breaks for the family and friends of those who were killed.  And I feel helpless.

All I can do is tell my family and friends how much I love them, each and every day.  The next time I sit at a White Sox game or go on a long run with Katie or simply meet friends for brunch, I need to stop and realize how lucky I am to be sitting, running, eating, breathing and loving.

I am urging everyone else to do the same.  Take a day to remind yourself of everything you have to be grateful for.  Do it for Jessica, because she no longer can.

Well, That’s Embarrassing

Yesterday was a lovely day – you know, lovely in the sense that I had to run 11-miles in 400% humidity and felt nauseous and then went to meet up with Melissa to watch Matt’s softball game in the heat.

The team’s bar sponsor, Cody’s, is a little hole-in-the wall type place in Lakeview.  They do not accept credit cards and they don’t serve food, but you can order in from anywhere, or in yesterday’s instance, we all brought food for a potluck, and Matt grilled chicken.

The other thing about Cody’s is that they allow dogs.  A bunch of people on the team had dogs and brought them – they were all awesome, super well behaved and adorable.

When we were sitting and watching the game, a guy walks by us with his dog, who took an interest in one of the other ones.  He was in a sling, which has to be a pain in the ass when you’re walking your dog, but I digress.

Anyway.

Shortly after we got to Cody’s, the guy with the sling also showed up.  I remembered thinking he was cute, so I took this as a sign to at least chat with him.

We talked for a while, and bless Melissa’s heart, she was trying to figure out if he was single.  His name is James and he had just moved into the building across the street from Cody’s and was killing time waiting to meet up with a friend.

At one point, he was talking to the owner of the bar, Gene (I think).  I waved over the bartender and pointed at James and said I wanted to buy his next drink.  She nods.  James then orders his drink, and she makes him pay for it.  I was sort of like WTF, and wanted to say something, until I realized that when she nodded at me she also said, “for Gene?” but quietly enough that I thought she said James.  Oops.  My bad.

A couple of minutes later she says to Gene, “this young lady bought you a drink.”

James says, “Wow, that was really nice of you.”  And of course through gritted teeth I was like, “I know, right?”  Thank GOD Melissa has been there enough to know who I bought the drink for and that he was the owner and not some random 50-year-old dude, because that would be creepy.  I could at least play it off like I was a regular (I’m not) buying the owner a drink.

In any case – not the end of the world, but my plan to be this really cool chick completely backfired.

At one point, James was getting ready to leave, and while he was outside saying goodbye to people, I did something I haven’t done since 2003:  Wrote my number down on a bar napkin.

He came back inside and asked me if I’d be back anytime soon and I said I wasn’t sure, but maybe.  I mean, really?  Can’t you just ask me for my # if you want to see me again?  So I was like, “Well actually here’s my number.”  It was super awkward, let’s be honest, because if he wanted it, he would have asked for it.

So, I am not going to hold my breath and wait for his call/text, and now I have to sit here wondering how cool it would have been if the buying him a drink thing had actually worked.

Depressing

I was just on DListed and there is a post about celebrities under 30 who made the most money from May 2011-May 2012 (put together by Forbes, of course).  The full list is below, and I copied and pasted from DListed because he has the BEST nicknames for people:

1. Taylor Squint, 22 – $57 million
2. The Lesbeaver, 18 – $55 million
3. RiRi, 24 – $53 million
4. Lady CaCa, 26 – $52 million
5. Katy Perry, 27 – $45 million
6. Adele, 24 – $35 million
7. Kristen Stewart, 22 – $34.5 million
8. Lil Wayne, 29 – $27 million
9. Taylor Lautner, 20 – $26.5 million
9. RPattz, 26 – $26.5 million

Justin Bieber made $55 million dollars in a year?  Really?

That’s a lot of eenie meenie miney mo loving.

Also – this is beyond depressing.  I’m older than all of these people and my net worth is in the negatives, I’m fairly certain.  When people who at one point or another make this much money and then blow it all on heroin and  hookers only to become broke and forced to headline a ten-year old’s birthday party just so they can pay the rent in their cracked out studio get absolutely ZERO sympathy from me.  $55 million in a year is enough to set you for life.  So how celebrities like this wind up broke is beyond me.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to cry at my desk.

Afternoon Delights

My favorite links of the day below – in an effort to avoid posting 789 links on Facebook in a span of 15-minutes, I have them here for your enjoyment.

B1G mascots do “Call Me Maybe” (Illinois & Michigan absent because they don’t HAVE mascots.  Sad.) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxhIhHv8oIM&feature=youtu.be

An Arkansas couple says “I do” at their local Wal-Mart – http://friendsoftheprogram.net/2012/07/11/arkansas-wedding-with-everyday-low-prices/

ScarJo’s new bodyguard looks like an episode of Miami Vice – http://www.dlisted.com/2012/07/09/scarjos-bodyguard

Robin Ventura is a liar (but in a good way) – http://www.southsidesox.com/2012/7/11/3150822/robin-ventura-efficiency-expert

Is Saved by the Bell just a dream? – http://www.cracked.com/quick-fixes/why-saved-by-bell-all-dream-conspiracy-theory/

Shop Talk:  Don’t Forget Content in Your Video Ad Campaigns: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/178554/dont-forget-content-in-your-video-ad-campaigns.html

MLB players who need to get it together:  http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/playerrankings

 

There’s an App For That!

Yesterday, I stumbled across this article in the Chicago Tribune about eHarmony launching a new app this week – The Bad Date Rescue app.

Here’s a blurb about what it does:

The free app includes several ways to set up a rescue. Users can pick a number from their address book for the call, for example from their mother or a friend. It the person’s picture is stored on the app it will appear on the screen when the call comes through.

Scripts are available giving the reason for the call, such as a neighbor calling about a leaky pipe; a mother informing that a sister just had a baby; or a boss saying he needs help immediately.

The free app can be pre-set before the date to call at a specific time and there is a quick rescue that can be triggered on the spot to ring in a few seconds or minutes.

File this app under “The Most Useless Thing EVER.”

First of all, we’ve all had contingency plans in place before – let’s be honest.  I’ve had to do it for friends and they’ve had to do it for me (I think).  Because this type of thing has existed for so long, to me, renders this app completely unnecessary.

Second of all, the director of product management claims, “It graciously allows you to play along and to get out of that situation.”  But he’s not fooling anyone.  It doesn’t graciously allow you jack squat.  If you ARE on a date and either you receive an “emergency” call or your date does, both of you are going to know what’s REALLY going on without having to admit it or have that uncomfortable, adult conversation where you just say, “It was nice to meet you, but I don’t think this is a match.”  That’s a total of 14 words most of us are so unwilling to say.

Here are a five apps eHarmony should consider instead:

The Broken Heart app:  Basically Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Minds you so that random sights, smells or memories don’t make you temporarily unable to breathe because you’re so upset being reminded of your ex.

The Profile Picture app:  Will send you a picture of what the person you’re talking to will look like five years older and 20-pounds heavier because we all know people put up pictures of themselves that do not accurately represent their current appearance.

The Shut The Fuck Up app:  Download this app so that when you’re on your date and one of you brings up any of those off-limit first through tenth date topics (ex’s, divorces, politics, finance, religion, Ohio State, OJ Simpson, or the Kardashians), the app will immediately sense this and to break up the conversation and distract you will immediately start blaring “MMMBop.”

The Blood Alcohol Content app:  Turns wine into water once you reach a certain level so that you don’t get tanked and make a very bad decision.

The Facebook Status app:  Automatically texts you your date’s status update after you’ve parted ways for the evening, so you know whether or not you’re getting a second one (regardless of whether or not you are FB friends with your date).  Could also be called Thank God I Don’t Have to Obsessively Check My Phone and Accidentally Walk off a Pier app.

I think any of the above would be much more useful that the app they’ve currently developed.  Someone get their product team on the phone, stat.

Here We Go Again

Well, it’s already happened.  Even though I said I was going to try and CALM DOWN about sports, the part diva, part monster in me has once again emerged and turned me into a raving lunatic.

The White Sox have been on a recent tear, and this past weekend concluded their last home stand before the All-Star Break.  Earlier in the week, they swept the Rangers and had taken the first two games against the Blue Jays.  Yesterday, game three, was a gorgeous day to sit outside to watch baseball, and so we did.

The game did not get off to a good start as Dylan Axelrod gave up two, two-run home runs.  In the first inning.  I think it went something like walk – HR – walk – HR, so we were in a 4-run deficit pretty quickly.  No bueno.

Alex Rios managed a 3-run HR in the bottom of the first, but Toronto just kept hitting, and every time we threatened to tie, something would go wrong.  And we came SO CLOSE – final score 11-9.  I was dreaming of the Youkilis game-winner that I experienced on the 4th of July, but, alas…

There were several issues at hand here.  One being that Robin Ventura started Tyler Flowers, presumably to give A.J. a break, but Flowers cannot hit his way out of a paper bag and, I mean, I know you can’t blame the catcher for bad pitches (or CAN you???) but there were definitely defensive plays he didn’t make that A.J. could have – I think at one point Toronto stole two bases IN A ROW.

I was screaming for them, at the very least, to have A.J. pinch-hit for Flowers, which they eventually did (I was like one of those crazy fans that probably calls the White Sox switch board to say things like, “You tell Jerry and Kenny to get rid of Ozzie!”  or “Tell Jerry to claim Player XYZ off waivers!”  or “Tell Jerry I’m delusional enough to think you’ll tell him whatever I say!”).

Another issue was the home plate umpire – Ballsy McBiased.  The difference in his version of a strike zone for when we pitched vs. when they pitched was mind-boggling.  I mean, he may as well have just ruled every ball a home run.  Ventura finally had enough and read him the riot act in the ninth inning – I am dying to know what he said because I imagine it was even meaner than what I was thinking.

(Something along the lines of “You stupid !$%@W&*@)_!*)#!O_!)(#!  Go $^@(*^$ yourself!”)

Ventura was ejected from the game and left the field to a standing ovation.

Look, I know crazy people like to blame the umps for everything, and certainly the way we pitched did not help us at all, but some of the calls he made were completely atrocious – calling a strike on Adam Dunn and then the next inning giving a ball to Toronto for the exact same pitch (or something, I think – see link below)

South Side Sox has a much more eloquent and smart sounding recap of the game if you’re interested.

True to form, I have now decided one loss is the end of the world (false) and there’s no way they can make the playoffs (also false).

In fact, I think this team has great potential.  Ventura has been a wonderful manager thus far.  You can really tell how much he cares about the team.  Ozzie didn’t give a shit last year – and apparently doesn’t this year either because his new team is struggling just as much as his old team did – and he’s taking Buehrle down with him, which is pissing me off! (8-8 with a 3.25 ERA – not horrendous but not great).  Zambrano is 4-7 with a 4.20 ERA, once again proving he cannot back up his mouth with any type of performance.

Wait, what was I talking about?

Here’s to a great second half of baseball!

When It Made Sense In 1997

Right now, My Best Friend’s Wedding is on – a movie that you should not watch after you have just told your guy friend that you want to be more and he rejects you (not that this happened to me, just so we’re clear).

It’s not even the fact that I have a horrible memory of seeing this movie for the first time that throws me off.  It’s all the things in it that are so unrealistic they make me want to throw something.  When I first saw it, I was 16, so the entire movie made complete sense to me.  Now?  Not so much.

For example:

  • Julia Roberts’ character Julianne is 28 and a food critic.  She’s wearing borderline business suits as casual attire, can afford to stay at the Drake and supposedly is immune to falling in love with everyone except Michael.  When I was 28, I could barely afford to stay at the local YMCA, I routinely wore jeans and flip-flops to work and fell in love four times a month.
  • This Michael dude is going to marry a 20-yr old willing to drop out of college and travel with him for his job as a sportswriter.  Um, no.  That would never happen.  When you’re on the road and working, it’s not like you have time to devote to your cling-on significant other.  I know when I was interning at Villanova and got to travel to exotic locations such as Syracuse, NY or Storrs, CT, I didn’t have a lot of free time.
  • The pact that Michael & Julianne have – if they’re not married by the time they’re 28, they marry each other.  As if being 28 and single is the end of the world and means you’ll die alone (okay for me it might, but for most people that’s not true).
  • Michael’s fiancée, upon meeting Julianne, announces that her maid of honor broke her something or other during spring break and she needed Julianne to step in.  Really?  You only have one maid of honor candidate?  No one else?  Two cousins and a stranger are standing up for you but you’re supposedly sweet as pie?  I may have had to repeat algebra, but that doesn’t add up, even for me.
  • Michael and Julianne have supposedly traveled all over the world together prior to turning 28.  Were they staying at hostels?  Did they hitchhike?  Again – most people at 28 cannot afford to travel the world on a whim.
  • The karaoke bar they go to that is supposedly in the Loop – such a thing does not exist.

Sitting here watching this now, I understand the concept – being bat-shit crazy in love with someone and not realizing it until it’s too late – but no 28-year old that I know has the money to fly to Chicago last-minute, stay at a 5-star hotel, wear business suits and try to sabotage a wedding while her editor/boss condones the behavior.

Also, Julia’s character finds Cameron Diaz’s character in the bathroom of Comiskey Park.  I’m sorry, but if I were running away from my fiancée who I saw making out with Hooch McGooch, I would not go to a ballpark stadium on the south side, even if my dad DID own the team.  I would put my ass on a flight out of O’Hare to the tropical island of my choice.  I know it’s just a movie, but how often to things actually tie up in such a neat little bow, like it did in this movie?

So – this whole movie circles back to the age-old question.  Can men and women ever really be friends?