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Whatever Happened to Instructions?

So my wonderful husband bought me a FitBit Flex for Christmas. In the package was:

1. What I presume is a FitBit Flex.
2. What looks like another FitBit Flex, only without a clasp to actually keep it closed.
3. Something that looks like it should plug into a computer.
4. A larger and more complicated thing that looks like it should plug into a computer.
5. Some dire-seeming warnings.
6. Not a single piece of instructions.

Seriously, shouldn't there be some instructions? Or am I getting to that age where I need someone younger and hipper to explain all of the things, which are blindingly self-evident to those in the proper generation?

Even now, I'm on the website, and it's walking me through the set-up process. It told me to double-tap the featureless black thing around my wrist. I did. It buzzed at me.

I'm disturbed. I kind of feel like a monkey, playing around with an indecipherable object, unable to predict what will happen or why.

I'm expecting the banana cravings to start at any moment...


Happy Birthday.

Thought of the Day

I have friends who are amazing, creative, outstanding cooks, and I have friends who live near me. Why, oh why, is there not more overlap in that Venn diagram??

(Posted here instead of Facebook in an attempt to not insult absolutely everyone I know).

Randomly Grumpy

They say that there's no such thing as a "wrong" emotion, but they're lying.

Full Stop.

So theferrett linked to this comic the other day, and I thought it was really beautiful, because it talks about a post-breakup outcome that doesn't seem to ever really be acknowledged. For those of you who don't want to click through, it starts out: "I know we haven't seen each other, or even really talked, in a long time... but I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I want you to know that I miss you. Not like, "I regret what happened," or even, "I want to see you again." Just... "I miss you." Full stop."

I like it so much because usually you only see two acceptable reactions to a breakup, once the initial shock and sorrow have passed: either you regret the break-up and want to get back together, or the other person is a villain, to be hated and scorned.

Does that idea come from the whole "omnia vincet amor" catch phrase? Don't forget, that phrase was passed down to us from Virgil, who also wrote a famous story about a prince who stole a queen for love and got the heck conquered out of himself for his troubles. Love sure doesn't conquer them Greeks.

Really, love doesn't conquer anything, it just gives you some motivation, some wiggle room, extra tolerance and forgiveness. Which are vital to a relationship. But two people can love each other, and not be able to "conquer all" because they just want different things you of life. And getting what you want out of life is important.

In the "love conquers all" outlook, there's not a whole lot of room for missing someone but not wanting something from them. If you miss them, you must have made a mistake with the breakup. You must want them back. And how many of those incredibly painful yo-yo relationships have happened because of that?

But it's totally possible to miss someone and be OK with that. To wish them well. To think of them now and then, and to still think they're awesome, even if they're not in your life. To be grateful that they were in your life for a while, and for the way that the positive ways that being with them changed you still ripple down today.

It's hard to even find the language to express that, since that reality is so rarely articulated. Until you stumble across a random comic one day, and just feel happy.

One Thought on Steubenville

A lot of people have already said a lot of important and thought-provoking things about Steubenville, but I want to add one thing.

It's clearly and blindingly obvious that people should not sexually assault other people who are unconscious. But there's a slippery slope that leads to the kind of thinking that it's funny to do things to people who can't defend themselves. Where does it start? Maybe with movies where "friends" draw penises on the faces of sleeping friends who can't stop them. That's funny, right? Or putting their hands in warm water so they pee. Hysterical, yes? Need more inspiration? Here's a whole list of pranks you can play on people when they're sleeping.

These things aren't funny, either. They're violations, even if they're not sexual. They're not harmless. Who wants to bet that the boys who ended up being sexual predators at Steubenville played some of these pranks, too?

How about teaching people to respect one another, not to take advantage of helplessness, in any form? Maybe if there's a hard line set on these "pranks" then it would never come to the issue of sexual assault.


Happy Birthday.

Writer's Block: ONTD Games Giveaway

Which video game character would you like to have as your real-life BFF? One random response will win a $60 Amazon gift card! [Full contest rules here.] Don't forget to share your favorite gamer moments on at 3 p.m. PST for Free For All Friday (FFAF).

I think I'd take GladOS from Portal. She's smart, determined, great at science, and apparently makes a great cake (at least, she keeps saying she does). She is also very forgiving and has a fabulous sense of humor.

Plus, she would probably kill me if I didn't pick her.

Not Friday the 13th

Chloe don't know better
Chloe's just like me... only beautiful
A couple of year's difference,
But there's lessons never learned.

Chloe does the tables in the French Quarter.
She's always been given,
So I can't always make her laugh,
But I'm proud to say,
And I won't forget,
The time spent laying by her side.
The time spent laying by her side.

Cooks Source Thoughts

As someone who writes for a living online, I was pretty pleased to hear people get riled up about the whole Cooks Source incident. Pleased, and also a little bit baffled.

For anyone who hasn't been following the mess, someone found out that an article she had written had been printed in an offline publication. When she protested, she got a very snarky response from the magazine editor, who, among other things, informed her that the internet is public domain (it's not), that she should be grateful they didn't just steal the article without attribution (questionable), and that really, she should be paying the magazine for editing and improving the article (frankly doubtful, coming from a magazine that can't even get grammar right in its title).

This provoked a storm of controversy which led to the magazine seeing the error of its ways (kind of), shutting down its Facebook page, and issuing a half-hearted passive-aggressive apology. Job well done, internet.

The reason why I find this whole thing baffling is -- it happens all. the. time. Maybe not quite as arrogantly, but its rampant. If you write online, you're better off staying away from sites like Copyscape, which notifies you about who's stealing your work, unless you want to spend all your time dealing with people who are as clueless and nasty as the Cooks Source editor.

For example, right now there's a site that's ripping every article I write, removing my name and links to my own content, and posting it as their own. They've been doing it for months. And when I contacted them, their response was, "Why do you think you own copyright on this material?" Seriously. Then they stopped responding to me.

My paycheck comes from people visiting my site. When other sites rip my work, they are taking money directly out of my pocket. The arrogance, nastiness, and downright stupidity when they get called on it is just salt in the wounds.

And what's really scary is how incredibly rampant it is. Whole news articles get reposted on LiveJournal all the time, with or without attribution. Photos get ripped and used everywhere - personal websites, Facebook, professional advertisements. Even major news organizations steal internet work and use it as their own.

It's a big problem.

And I wish that I could think the Cooks Source issue has brought it into the light, and made people think a little more about the people they might be hurting by not following copyright laws. If you think an article is great, quote a snippet and give a link back for more. Or interview the author. Or put your own twist on the issue, using quotes and attribution from the original.

But I think instead, people are just going to think that they've done a good job for shaming Cooks Source, and that will be the end of it.

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December 2014

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