Break Away From Your Internet Rut

The Internet is a massive and wonderful tool. You can connect with old friends, get the most current information on almost any subject, and find endless sources of cheap entertainment. Yet, those who use the Internet for that last list item, I am sure, often quickly find themselves in a rut. Let’s face it, we are creatures of habit. So even when given unlimited options for entertain ourselves, we are still more likely to continue to peruse the same few sites over and over again. I am no different. And so, I have decided to share a few of my favorite Internet locales in the hopes that this broadens some people’s scope of entertainment and encourages them to suggest a few back.

1. Listverse – How could I start a list about fun websites and not include the one that lists everything else? Listverse.com is the massive compilation of hundreds of lists pertaining to everything from art and literature to health to the bizarre. It provides an excellent time waster as well as a way to learn a fun fact or two. Just beware of the subject/list you choose. Some can be fairly creepy of graphic while others have images that are definitely NSFW.

2. Foodgawker – Looking though a 2-inch thick recipe book with nothing but recipe titles and finely printed ingredients/instruction can get old. Welcome to foodgawker.com. Both inspiring and mouth-watering, this website allows you to choose your recipe based upon the image of its end result. You may also narrow your search to one of the multiple categories (my favorite is “desserts” of course) or use the handy search tool to look for a specific main ingredient. All results look absolutely delicious. The hardest part will be choose just one! (An incredibly similar site to this is tastespotting.com)

3. People of Walmart – If you are a frequent Walmart shopper, I apologize in advance if this you find this site offensive. But COME ON! It is absolutely amazing how many train wrecks walk the aisles of that store. Peopleofwalmart.com provides hilarious photos, contests, stories, and videos of the shoppers of said discount store. I would try to describe some of them but you are really better off just going to the site yourself. There is also a book and a merchandise store. A merchandise store for a website about a store! Really?! Really.

4. Tucker Max – Perhaps some will remember the film “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell” from a few years back. I personally never saw it. I couldn’t tear myself away from Tucker Max’s website long enough to buy myself a ticket. This site is definitely not for those easily offended or disgusted. Seriously. However, if you are looking for some hilarious and raunchy alcohol fueled (quite well written I might add) then give tuckermax.com a try. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you if you end up vomiting (whether from laughter or disgust) on your computer screen.

5. Postsecret – The only downside to this site is that you only see a new post once a week. Nevertheless, the vulnerability you recognize from reading the cards on postsecret.com is both chilling and amazing. Reading these secrets brings out so many feeling for me personally. I have been furious at the writer. I have been furious at the person that hurt them. I have smiled and laughed aloud. I have felt deep empathy and pity. I have thanked God I know some secrets don’t pertain to me and sometime look at others and wonder if they do. The most incredible feeling is when you see a card, a secret, and you KNOW you share the same one.

This is, by far, not all the places I stop on my way about the web, but certainly some of the most common and memorable. Hope you enjoy a site or tow from this list and please feel free to recommend your own.

The Little Things and Microwaves

Everyone always talks about the “little things” worth living for, the “little things” that make you happy. But what about the “little things” that just piss you the hell off? What about those seemingly insignificant moments, ticks, behaviors that, for some reason, just drive you up the wall? As amazing as it is what simple things can make people (myself included) happy, the most abstract occurrances can easily send them in the other direction. One of my top offenders: the microwave.

Now understand, I love microwaves. They heat up delicious Thanksgiving leftovers. They provide me a fast track to my hot cocoa fix. But, don’t push the reset button and it’s a whole different story. Ask anyone in my family and they will confirm that the microwave in my parent’s house almost always showed the correct time on its little digital clock. Why? Because after each person finished re-heating their respective food or drink, pulling the newly warmed delectable from the microwave with just a second left (let’s be honest, the beeping timer at the end gets real old, real fast) I would be there within the minute to make sure the reset button had been pushed to clear the leftover time. Maybe it would not have been such a big deal had there been another functioning clock in the room. Maybe I can just be a little anal, but nothing used to infuriate me more than looking at the microwave to see what time it was, only to be faced with a lone “1” in the digital window. It was like the appliance was flipping me off! I just could not stand it!

I realize this confession places me in the category of slightly insane, but truly, everyone has their own little tick. It all comes down to whether you are crazy enough to fess up to it (which clearly, I am). So what about you? Are you just crazy enough to tell me? What is your “little thing”?

Menstruation Barbie

As long as I have known her, Barbie has perpetually been 5 steps ahead of the rest of the women on Earth. Between flawless skin, a hunky boyfriend, an unbelievable figure, and about 50 successful occupations, she is like a beauty queen overachiever on steroids. It’s too much to handle! To much to take! What I would LOVE to see is a real woman’s Barbie. Not only that. She would be portraying something every true girl must go through:

their period.

Menstruation Barbie would be outfitted not in her usual fashionable attire, but ugly grey sweats to better hide the week’s unfortunate bloating. Chocolate stains line the edges of her lips and the stress lines of holding 50 different careers, plus constantly losing her shoes (if you have ever had a Barbie, you totally understand this) would finally be visible on her forehead. As for Ken, he would be cowering in the corner, the latest victim of her unstable hormonal rage.

If anyone has ever seen a Barbie like this, or created one themselves, please let know/send a pic. I would love to see it.

Is this really better than Anthrax?

As I have mentioned before, I don’t exactly live or work in the nicest part of town. There are crazies on the MAX, homeless on the streets, and piss on the sidewalks. So it should come as no surprise that a certain individual near my office has taken it upon himself to add to the delirium

Perhaps he is unstable. Maybe it’s a fetish. There is also the slight chance that he simply hates the US postal service. Regardless of the reason, this particular creature decided to make a very public “genetic deposit” (as my coworker put it) into the curbside mailbox across the street from my work building. And the scary reality is, he can’t possibly be the ONLY one.

So now, my heart goes out, both to the postal workers who have to deal with this sort of craziness on a regular basis, as well as the two poor little curbside mailboxes in the area that had to be removed. All that remains are some sad little bolts on the sidewalk. And all I can think is: What is gonna happen next? Oh P-Town

 

Speechless in Slovenia

Losing your voice sucks. Losing your voice in another country sucks even harder.

At the beginning of my week long break after midterms A (my roommate), J (my cousin), his two friends and I met up in Northern Italy and headed to Slovenia for a fun night of clubbing. Yet from the moment A and I arrived at the Venice Airport where my cousin was to pick us up, I could tell that my voice was starting to fade. And during the four hour drive to Ljubljana it only got worse.  By the time we had trekked through the cold to a restaurant and back for dinner, as well as started our pre-gaming in the hotel room, my voice was completely gone. The most I could possibly get out was a squeak.

The rest of the night’s festivities suddenly became 10 times as difficult for me, and frustrating because I was not truly able to catch up with my cousin whom I almost never get to see. For a while I tried to whisper to my roommate  what drinks I wanted and what I wanted to say in terms of conversation but my voice ended up not being able to handle the strain. Plus, a whisper isn’t really audible in a club or bar anyway. Basically the rest of the night was spent drinking whatever was handed to me (not always the best idea) and using the rest of my body to indicate what I want – aka very hard elbows to the chests of guys trying to creep on me on the dance floor. All in all a good night, but I still would have rather had my voice.

Oh Holy Hangover

The annual Christmas Eve party this year was just as much fun as ever. Family, food, and, of course, plenty of booze. As many of my cousins and I have become 21 in the last couple years, we decided to indulge a little and join the adults in drinking and toasting throughout the night. And everything seemed to be going great. People weren’t fighting (which is the usual scene, even in my close family), there was karaoke, ping pong, foosball, tons of pleasant conversation. Then Christmas morning came ’round.

Christmas Day, normally one of the happiest and joyful times of the year for me did not start out so great. It began with me waking up to a slightly nauseous feeling that only intensified as I tried to climb out of bed. Realizing exactly where this was going, and knowing that I was set to go to church with the family in an hour, I immediately ran downstairs and out to our garage for a vitamin water. Yes, it was a little to late to hydrate before mass at that point, but, damn it, I was going to try. In retrospect, I should have been more worried about the car ride over than the prep before. Yet that was nothing compared to the actual mass.

To begin with, my younger brother plays the flute so we always sit near the church band/choir to better hear him play. Now, at a regular service, this proximity would be torture enough, but add in the recent addition of a drum to the band, extra carols for the Christmas Holiday, and the constant ringing of bells throughout the entire (repeated) chorus of Gloria and you have hangover hell. I didn’t even have a headache before church started but I sure walked away with one.

To make matters worse, Christmas also means there is an abundant use of incense throughout the mass. (And did I mention we also sit very close to the front?) This, in addition to the usual sitting, standing, sitting, standing, kneeling, standing, that occurs throughout the service, basically meant I spent nearly an hour and a half simultaneously trying to keep myself from vomiting and/or passing out.

The silver lining in all this: Both my parents had been there before, my brother was dealing with the exact same thing right next to me, and it will always be a hilarious Christmas memory for me (now that I am so longer suffering the symptoms)

Merry Christmas!