Emotional Vibrator

Emotional vibrator is a phrase I used in my last post in regards to Gigi, the most recent lady of the online night to take her leave of me. And really, who can blame her, right?

I thought it quite clever myself, although I’m not sure I coined the phrase. In any case, it seemed to me what Gigi wanted me to be for her, an emotional affirmation machine to help soothe her through her most recent break-up blah blah blah. But of course I was unwilling to do that because it seemed a one-sided and ultimately losing proposition for me. I don’t expect a sure thing – although I did like that 80s movie with John Cusack;

but let’s face it I dig any movie with John Cusack in it (and a chick like Nicollette Sheriedan), man I can’t wait to see the new movie with him about Edgar Allen Poe….wait, what was I talking about.

Oh yeah, vibrators, of the emotional variety.

Of course, this is not just a woman thing. Men do it too (though in a slightly different way I suppose), they seek out women to soothe them emotionally, and when they are done being soothed, they clean up, dispose of their emotional self-healing toy and move on.

I’ve been called out for doing something like this, being told – no, not just told but literally chastised: “I can’t fix you!” All for expressing the fact that I was feeling sad and missed my family. I didn’t expect this particular woman to fix me. In fact, the very notion was laughable; she was so fucked up herself.

That’s part of why my date the other night was so cool. I could actually talk about my ex – good and bad – and was not punished for it – some women will come right  out and tell you they are not interested in hearing about it, others will simply glaze over and check out, others will get an irritated look on their face, still others will pretend to listen and simply disappear later. But that was not the case. My date spoke of her ex, in both good and bad terms. And really that should be allowed, up to a point. And I think because I was allowed to express a few things it was easy to simply shut up about it…more or less.

But that is not where I was planning on going with this. No. My intention was to bring up the phrase Emotional Vibrator (you know, even though  I may not have coined it, I wonder if I could still copyright it? Is that possible?) because it gave me an idea for an App.

The App would of course be called: Emotional Vibrator. Or perhaps even better  Your Emotional Vibrator. And it would work like Siri on the iPhone 4. You could lament and complain and bitch and piss and moan and whine an gripe to it all you wanted and all it would ever do is offer you positive affirmation and support, agree with you, soothe you. And it would never get tired of your pathetic bullshit like everyone has.

There could even be a PlusVersion of it that has an actual vibrator attachment that you can…..


Electric Zombie

Remember those Electric Football games?

You know, the ones where you had the little plastic football guys mounted on tiny platforms and you set them up on a little metal football field and then plugged it in and the metal field started to vibrate thus causing the guys to move, jittery and jumping, bumping up and down the field.

Well, I was thinking. What if instead of football guys you had a bunch of zombies and a few survivors, and instead of a field you had like a little town or whatever. You place your survivor guy and then turn on the game and the last one to be touched/eaten by zombies wins.

Pretty cool, huh….


The New Job Searching Reality

When I was a kid I had jobs that included mowing lawns, cleaning gutters and window wells, and delivering news papers, plus assorted odd jobs such as painting and pulling weeds or whatever. I came by those job via word of mouth, mostly.

When I was a teenager I just went from place to place asking if they were hiring and if they were they gave me an application.That was pretty much the deal for a long time, although when I was in college, attending Macomb Community College, they had a job placement office that had binders with job posting and you went through the different binders until you found something.

The last time I job searched was a little more than seven years ago. I created a resume and mailed them out along with a cover letter on really nice paper. I did find most of the jobs that I applied for via the internet, on Monster.com and careerbuilders.com. Now there are so many online job boards. I did find a few via the newspaper classifieds. Although the job I ended up getting, the one before my most recent job, was via family. Well, via my ex-wife’s family. My job at the library I found by visiting their web site.

Now, you have to submit your resume and cover letter via the internet, uploading your documents from your computer to databases. Although a more effective way to submit is to get a hold of someone’s email address and email your materials directly to them. That requires a contact usually, or some creative investigating, figuring out the email pattern and identifying a person and trying to create their email address. It can be a crap shoot.

Something else that’s different about the job search process I discovered  yesterday. It has to do with response time. When you mailed in a resume and cover letter you knew it would be awhile before you heard back. It was similar even with email, although the response time was  usually shortened. Now, with databases, the response time can be almost immediate. I applied for a job via a company’s web site yesterday and perhaps an hour or so later I got a call from a recruiter. And I had a phone interview right on the spot. It was a little jarring. I wasn’t really prepared for an interview. In my defense, the recruiter guy wasn’t all that prepared either. He asked me why I was attracted to the job, which was difficult for me to answer, but it was also difficult for him to “tell me more about the job” when I asked.  Perhaps because of that he cut me a little slack. I hope so anyway.

In any case, it was a response, which is always good. Yesterday was a good job-search day. I applied for 5 different jobs, got a call and phone interview with the possibility of call back later this week. Today: not so good. Was unable to find a single job to apply for. Sigh.

millennials in the classroom…

…as teachers, not as students.

Just returned from curriculum night for my daughter’s third grade class and her teacher is 25, 26 tops. I wasn’t entirely surprised, because I’d heard she was young, but still… Made me feel more than a little old, which I guess I sort of am.

What really stunned me is the amount of technology that my daughter will be utilizing this year. We’re talking a class Wiki, PowerPoint, flashdrives, email, blogging, something called Moodle that allows students to work online, flip vid cams and digital cams, etc. Blew my mind. By the time my daughter’s done with third grade she’ll be more tech savvy then I am, which isn’t saying much, but still…for her age. At one point I commented on how, when i was in school, I thought it was a big deal that we had Texas Instrument red LED calculators.


Talk about hi-tech, eh.

Of course, it’s necessary. Kids have to be able to do all this stuff and be able to adapt to new technology as it comes up. And a Millennial generation teacher is perfect to teach that stuff. Just to reinforce how much of a Millennial this teacher is — she said to contact her email, because she never checks her voicemail, hasn’t in years. Voicemail is so Boomer, because they’re so chat chat chatty.

Addy will need to improve her typing skills, though. At some point that hunt peck mode ain’t gonna cut it.

Very pleased, with the teacher and the curriculum. Gonna be a great year, I think.


It would seem that I have developed something of a text message dependancy.  6 months ago I almost never used the txt messaging option of my phone. Hell, I hardly ever used my phone. The only person I ever really talked to on it was my wife, Colleen. In fact, that was the reason I got a cell phone in the first place, when Colleen was pregnant with our daughter, so she could contact me anywhere when she went into labor. As it turned out, it wasn’t necessary — Colleen was induced after she’d gone past her due date. But I kept the phone. I’m not sure I’ve heard of anyone giving up their cell once they’d gotten one, even those who swore they never would, like myself.

Back to my original point: I txt a lot now. So much so that we changed our phone plane. Yes, though separated, Colleen and I are still on the same phone plan. Is that strange or unusual? Got me.  It is what it is. I probably txt my cousin in Iowa the most, but the majority of our txts are of the juvenile variety, ie ham jokes. It’s too complicate, and a bit twisted, to explain. Just accept it. Colleen is the person I txt most after that. In fact, we txt more now than we ever did before, but then we were living in the same house, and yet we seemed to communicated far less than we do now.  In many ways, although not all, our relationship is better than it was before the separation. Often it doesn’t seem like we’re not a couple anymore, that we’re not a family anymore. It’s almost as if we’ve somehow entered our bizzarro relationship. I don’t know. It’s late and I spent three hours in the dentist chair getting fitted for two — count ’em — two crowns. I’m still slighty out of it.

I find txting to be helpful in a way, although it is difficult to describe how exactly. A friend on facebook gave me her number and told me to call her if I ever wanted to talk. We’d been chatting. I told her I appreciated it, although I’d be more likely to txt than chat. She said she understood, that sometimes you want to talk but not really. That made sense to me.

Anyhoo…my txting fetish doesn’t seem like it will end anytime soon. If anything it is going to become even more prominent. I’m looking into getting a new phone, one that makes it easier to tap out messages.

We need to talk….

I guess you’ve noticed that I haven’t been around much lately, WordPress blog. There’s a reason for that. I’ve been spending a lot of time on Facebook lately. At first, I thought it was just a harmless flirtation, but now I realize that it much more serious than that. Look, I didn’t mean for this to happen. It just did. And I’m sorry. Please forgive.

No, it’s not that Facebook is better than you are, WordPress. Don’t be silly. You’re great. Really great. I care about you a lot. It’s just that, well, Facebook is…I don’t know how to describe it. I feel pretty crummy about this but I can’t go on living a lie. I need to be honest with you. I’d just rather be on Facebook. That’s all. It’s not a reflection on WordPress, which has been great. It’s just, well, things change. So I guess that’s what I’m saying. I’ve changed.

But hey, WordPress. I want you to know that I’m still here for you. Anytime you need me. I’ll still post if you want me to. You know I love posting with you. It’s great. It’s always be great. Mindblowing really. I mean, hell… Well, you know what I mean. If it wasn’t great I wouldn’t have stuck around as long as I have. That sounds bad, I know, but…. What I really mean is that if I didn’t care I wouldn’t be telling you these things. I’d just, you know, bolt. I’d run away. Because, you know me, that’s what I do. I can’t deal with that Big Conversations. But I can’t do that anymore. I just can’t keep running from what thing to another. It’s time to grow up.

So…. does anyone else feel like this has gone on too long. Yeah, sorry.

I just realized that I haven’t posted in awhile, not since before Christmas. I did get some kudos on that post, though. It was about the dark side of the Christmas move, It’s A Wonderful Life. I was quite proud of it myself, actually.

Anyhoo… I thought it was high time I got back to my blog. So here I am — don’t judge me, love me!

It’s true, though I have been spending a lot of time on Facebook lately. I resisted getting on it for a long time. It seemed silly, I guess. I thought of Facebook as largely a Millennial social networking thing, and that my presence on it would be at least slightly creepy. But apparently that is now so — not that I’m not at least slightly creepy, because I am, but that Facebook is mainly utilized by the Millennial gang.

I don’t know if GenX has only recently discovered Facebook, but it seemed that way to me, at least for myself and GenXers that I know. But that’s hardly a representative example. In any case, I find Facebook to be very agreeable to a certain kind of GenX personality, and that is for those of us who enjoy connecting with people but are often reticent about it. I know I am, and I had a chat, ironically enough at a social gathering with another GenXer (who I don’t think is much vested in the GenX ethos, which is also ironic in a way, but cool) about our shared social anxiety, how we both kind of get uptight about attending such functions but usually ultimately end up enjoying ourselves. This phenomenon (if I can call it that, which I just did, so whatever) I think is best — what? — illustrated? defined? represented? I don’t know, I just thought the part in Clerks where Randall and Dante are discussing attending the funeral of a girl they went to high school with, and whom Dante once had sex with, gets at what I mean pretty well. Dante expects Randall to stay behind and watch the store so that he, Dante, can go, but Randall wants to go as well:

		You've gotta watch the store. I
		have to go to this.

		Wait, wait, wait. Has it occurred
		to you that I might bereaved as well?

		You hardly knew her!

		True, but do you know how many
		people are going to be there? All
		of our old classmates, to say the

		Stop it. This is beneath even you.

		I'm not missing what's probably
		going to be the social event of the

		You hate people.

		But I love gatherings. Isn't it

That about sums it up for me.

Happy Toilet Day!

Now that the election is finally over, it is time for the public to turn its attention to more important matters.

Such as: World Toilet Day!

No. I am not making it up. It is a real deal. Hey, it was in the Washington Post, the paper that broke Watergate, so, you know….

Happy Toilet Day

For those who believe the country is headed down the toilet, there’s new evidence out today that they may be right: It’s World Toilet Day, and Capitol Hill is involved in the celebration: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is listed as a participant in this afternoon’s “Sanitation is Dignity” exhibit on the Capitol’s West Front in honor of World Toilet Day.

The purpose of the day, declared by the World Toilet Organization, is to bring attention to excrement-borne illness, and the fact that 2.5 billion people “do not have a toilet and instead are forced to do their business on roadsides, in bags or bushes, or anywhere they can.”

The World Toilet Organization, or WTO (not to be confused with the World Trade Organization) is firmly of the of the view that “toilets deserve better social status.” Specifically, the WTO seeks “to elevate the status of toilets to make them status symbols and objects of desire.” It also seeks to “upgrade the skill sets of the restroom cleaners” and is responsible for the slogan: “We deserve better places to defecate.”

How does one raise the status of toilets anyway? I mean, making them an object of desire sounds kind of, um, creepy to me.

Obama’s email list

Something from that New York Times article about Robert Gibbs potentially becoming Obama’s Press Sec really jumped out at me. It was the last sentence:

And an adviser to the transition team said it was considering using its vast e-mail list to communicate with voters rather than rely on the news media.

I find this prospect exciting. To get communcations from The White House at the same time as the press, perhaps even at times ahead of the press. This could really change the dynamic of the relationshop bewtween The White House, The Press, and The Public. It will be interesting to see it play out.

I wonder if there will be direct text messages too? I’ve been getting those during most of the campaign, once the Primary was over.

Soggy Ballots

In Virginia, water dripping from voters onto optical-scan paper ballots makes the ballot impossible to scan, said Ryan Enright, a spokesman for the State Board of Elections.

Read full CNN story here.

Fortunately here in Michigan we have had beautiful day at 70 some degress with sunshine and only partly cloudy at times.

Who knew a little water could cause such problems.

Election Day… Finally!

Man, am I glad that I voted and I am done!

Colleen and I hit the polls just as they were opening at 7am. We ended up waiting in line for about an hour and a half, the longest either of us have ever waited to vote. That’s a pretty good wait considering that Birmingham, Michigan is a pretty small town, about 20,000. There were two precincts voting at our polling place, Derby Middle School. Curiously, or perhaps not so, our line was much longer and seemed to be moving slower.

My ballot numbers was 124, but my ballot was the 129th to be scanned through the machine. I’m glad we have paper ballots that are scanned. I would be very concerned if I had to use a touch screen machine that provides no paper ballot.

There was a poll worker there showing an example ballot. The ballot was yellow and after examining it you had to give it back before you could get your official ballot. More importantly the poll worker herself was donning a bright, reflective neon safety vest. This is a clear signal that she is authorized to discuss the ballot with voters, and not  just some yahoo fucking with voters. Not that that sort of thing would likely happen in a place lika Birmingham anyway. But at other place, especialy urban polling places where the voters are largely minority, it does. And no doubt it will this time too.

Slate.com has an article this morning on voter suppression and fraud. Check it.

Afterwards, Colleen and I continued our Election Day tradition of going out to breakfast. This morning we went to Toast a new place in downtown Birmingham.