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Wildly Exaggerated: January 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Email You Wish You Could Send

It's weird, being a human person. It's even weirder when people get offended at the idea that we are all descended from apes. Apes are very much a step up from most human people we interact with on a daily basis.

Take me, for instance. Yesterday I decided I wanted a book from the library. (How quaint!) I probably went to the library's website 5-10 times over the course of the day, trying to work out which branches had the book I wanted, which one I could most conveniently stop by, what the hours were, whether I might want to pick up another similar book at the same time... And every time I went to the library website, I saw this:


And every time I saw that, I thought, "Ugh! I KNOW! I get it! You're closed today! Just take me to the stupid catalog page!"

And yet, at 5:30pm, having battled ridiculous rain-induced traffic past my condo and all the way to the other side of town, I found myself standing outside a darkened library building, scratching my head (like an ape!) and saying, "But the website said it would be open til 8! Oh wait... SON OF A!!!!"

Given that breathtaking display of oblivious stupidity, you might think I would be a very compassionate person with an infinite well of patience for those people around me who are similarly oblivious. WRONG!

Take today, for instance. I'll have to modify a few things to protect the innocent a guilt-ridden harlot (yours truly). Let's say I sent this document to someone today:

The Nebraska River Beaver is a very friendly creature. Despite its large teeth, which are ideally suited to eating delicious crunchy snack products, its digestive system is unable to process salt & vinegar flavored potato chips, making it the saddest member of the animal kingdom.

A few hours after sending my masterpiece, I received a reply from the recipient:

To: Me
From: The Get These Beavers Lay'd Initiative
Subject: Document
Your document bites (STOP LAUGHING THAT'S NOT A BEAVER JOKE). We specifically asked you to stop using the letters Z, Q, and J as of six months ago (see attached). Please revise accordingly and re-send.


I stared at the attachment, scratching my head, but not like an ape. More like Albert Einstein watching Jersey Shore. Then I pulled up my document and searched for the letters Z, Q, and J. Finding none of them, I figured the search function wasn't working and I myself went through letter by letter, searching for the offending graphemes. After wasting about 15 minutes of my life on this, I came to the inevitable conclusion that The GTBLI was perhaps having an "off" day, and had hallucinated any errors they believed to exist. But how to tell them that, without seeming mean or sarcastic?

To: The Get These Beavers Lay'd Initiative
From: Me
Subject: Re: Document
Hi again Gordon!
I am so sorry for failing to observe the instructions you never sent, but I really appreciate the completely unintelligible email and attachments you sent today to provide me with guidance going forward. After carefully reviewing the document using both 21st-century technology and good old-fashioned eyeball grease, I realized that the document I sent you is already completely in line with all of your requests. Naturally, I immediately travelled to an alternate dimension where these mistakes did exist and corrected them. If you reopen the document now, I think you will find it to your satisfaction. In the event that you see any additional glaring errors, please don't hesitate to ask a reliable adult if said errors really exist before asking me to fix them. Also: if anyone hands you a stamp with a picture of the Mad Hatter on it, DON'T put it in your mouth.

Hugs and Cuddles!

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

This Pepsi Brought to You by Coke

Good news, everybody! Internet advertising is still insanely creepy! Case in point: I decided a few weeks ago that I might like to take a little vacay in sunny (not really) San Francisco. So whenever I've had a little down time on the ol' laptop, I've been playing around with airfares, hotel selections, etc., trying to decide if/when I might want to go. I figure that's probably why I saw this ad on one of my favorite not-my-blogs:

Firstly, this irritates me because I am still such a naive moron that when I first saw it, I thought, "Oh wow! It's kismet! I want to go to San Francisco, and here's Delta, practically TELLING me to go to San Francisco!" Then I remembered that The Internet (aka multinational internet and software corporation Google) is always watching my every move, and has essentially done away with kismet and coincidence in the 21st century. Nothing is ever "a sign" anymore. It's just "proof that Delta paid Google some money so Google would slip them a sheet of paper in a back alley that said 'Kimberly Welsh wants to go to San Francisco'". How depressing.

It also irritates me because HELLO?!?! What is being advertised? When I see a tailor-made ad, I expect to see some sort of special offer or discount! Is it really supposed to be news to me that Delta flies to San Francisco, bearing in mind that I have recently searched the Delta website on more than one occasion to ascertain the departure times and airfares for said flights? I already know you go to San Francisco, people. I'm not going with you until you give me a good reason.

But my absolute favorite part is the tiny tiny print at the bottom. You could enlarge the screenshot to see it, or you could just take my word that it says "Travel may be on other airlines". Obviously they're referring to codesharing here, and in 2012, I doubt anyone is surprised by this clause. I just enjoy the contrast between that and the much larger font at the top. It reads "FLY DELTA TO SAN FRANCISCO", but what it really means is "FLY WHOEVER YOU WANT TO SAN FRANCISCO, BUT BE SURE TO PAY US!"

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Sunday, January 8, 2012


2 blog posts in one day! And neither of them worth a crap! You must've been good boys and girls all year.

I was assigning "labels" to that last post and I saw "John of the Week". I am genuinely sad that I haven't been naming my Johns of the Week lately; it's good to be gratitudinous, and I feel like such an ass for letting so many people go unthanked.

But I'm FAR too lazy to do some sort of ginormous catch-up post, so let's just assume that if you:
- saved my life
- loaned me some of your meds
- complimented my Christmas party outfit
- brought me food
- gave me a present
- wrote "Happy Birthday" on my Facebook wall
- listened to me whining
- held my hair while I puked
- let me crash at your place once I was done puking
- refrained from letting your impending baby steal my birthday thunder
- loaned me a wig
- presented me with a page full of authentic Disney™ character autographs
- declined to press charges
...then you know who you are, and I'm grateful.

On a related note, did anybody else find that 2011 got a little weird right at the end?

Well 2012 is starting off on a weird foot too, because guess who the John of the Week is! That's right...


I'm not even kidding either. I heart this song so GD much that it is now the default ringtone on my phone. That is how weird shit has gotten. And you thought I was crazy before. The 2012 version of Kimberly...y'all don't even know. BUT YOU'RE FIXIN' TO FIND OUT!!!

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Blah Blah 2012 Blah Blah New Leaf Blee Bloop Mud Wrestling.

Sorry I've been yadda yadda it was just that [YAWN!] (insert empty promise of more regular blogging here).

There! Now that that's over with, I can tell you about the thing I really wanted to tell you about, which is this:
As you can probably tell from the font and format, this is a Facebook ad. It has been shoved down my News Feed's throat for a couple of weeks now, though for the life of me I can't figure out why. But I might have a clearer idea of its relevance to my life if I understood what the hell it was advertising. I mean, they've employed the word "race" here, which means it's either some sort of speed-based athletic competition, or they're holding open registration for a new subset of humans which would ordinarily be determined by common heritable phenotypic characteristics/geographic ancestry/physical appearance/ethnicity*, but in this case will be determined solely by who gets in under the wire for open registration!

I'll tell you this much for free: I really hope it's the latter! Racial differences, whether real or imagined, define so much of our interaction in such a negative way, and people die every day in their name. It would be a massive improvement for humanity as a whole if we could all just sign up for whichever newly-made-up race we want to be. Then no one would be jealous of anyone else, someone's physical appearance would tell you nothing whatsoever about their racial affiliation,  and we'd all be far too busy inventing our own unique cultures to bother fighting with each other. And as the ad implies that there is a cap on the number of people who can be a part of this race, I'm guessing we could also cap all races at roughly the same number, thereby completely doing away with the concept of "minorities" altogether! We would all be equal! FINALLY!

...but it seems far more likely that this is, in fact, just an advertisement for some lame-ass trail running race that's been given a hefty helping of the oh-so-trendy messy/muddy obstacle course component that seems to be springing up all over the place. I never understood the appeal of that sort of thing, to be honest - it's bad enough being sweaty and nasty; why would I also want to be muddy and grimy? But this ad has cleared a lot of things up for me, as it chooses to advertise an allegedly serious athletic competition using a picture that makes it look like something between a wet t-shirt contest and some sort of bizarre solo mudwrestling exhibition. I still don't understand why anyone thinks this would be appealing to me, but I imagine there are a fair number of adolescent boys who'd love nothing more than to run a 5k through a field of writhing half-clothed women.


*Wikipedia for the win

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