I heard about this on Sunday, but there was really no outside information to pass on besides the fact itself. I guess there still isn’t much. But maybe for the four or five readers who’ve stuck around ( ) and aren’t from North Dakota (hence, don’t know me personally), this is new to them.
In any case, it’s worth writing about because it’s nice. And I like nice things and nice people. Mean people suck.
But this makes me happy that not everyone sucks. Allow me to cut to the chase: Minot, ND, a central North Dakotan city I would call decent-sized but you non-North Dakotans might consider minuscule, is still picking up the pieces from the disastrous flood they battled earlier this summer. Over 10,000 residents were forced to evacuate in late June. The start of the school year has been delayed, the North Dakota State Fair, the state’s biggest annual event, was canceled, and the cost of the flood is estimated somewhere around $1 billion.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBoclslZ_bg (Sorry, I wish I could embed on the AreaVoices platform, but it never seems to work!)
This video’s a tear-jerker. “Fix You” is enough to start the waterworks for me, but a weekend trip to Minot was always one of my biggest treats growing up. It’s sad to see a place you’re so familiar with suffering.
Josh Duhamel — hunky actor, married to Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, you may know him from Las Vegas, the TV show, and movies like Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, When in Rome, the Transformers series, Ramona and Beezus — is from Minot. Pretty sure I would have dropped over dead if I’d ever seen him walking around the mall there.
He’s been backing his hometown from day one, just like a true North Dakota boy. So, he got the Black Eyed Peas to set up a special concert benefitting the flood fight that’ll be held in Minot on September 3. Awww, *swoon.*
Tickets will go on sale August 12 for $100 a piece, and full information should be available at this site: www.minotrising.com. (Only it’s super faily and just says “Coming soon…” for now. That was the only source they provided when the news first broke. I had to laugh a little.)
Still, I’m glad they’re spreading the love, following the cry from “Where is the Love?,” one of their first hits. (I oftentimes forget that song exists, but I’m glad when I remember because I think it’s my favorite of their songs.)
Oh, and speaking of Duhamel being a North Dakota boy, this is a perfect opportunity to plug this little video, which went semi-viral last summer, but really just never gets old. It’s also where I got the name for my Wild Wild Williston posts.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-NksDSgKZ8 (I apologize, again, about the lack of ability to embed. If anyone knows how — I usually just use the embed code — please let me know!)
I’m going to assume you know about my neurotic tendency to over-analyze things. Rest assured that it doesn’t stop at text messages. As many readers commented on the texting article, any kind of communication that’s not face-to-face opens up the opportunity for misinterpretation. And I’m well aware. I planned to write this post before the texting one exploded, but I figured I had to wait a while, so it wouldn’t look like I was just trying to re-do that.
I think the only form of technological communication I over-analyze more than texting is interactions on Facebook. Facebook presents the opportunity for so many more subtle, silent “body language” stand-ins, causing me, at least, to analyze my creeping to the max.
I’m guilty of contributing. I often have cryptic statuses, straight from the depths of my latest favorite obscure indie folk song. But I would never put up a cryptic lyric status unless it related in some way to what I was feeling that day, or my current life situation. There’s always a “hint hint” factor in hopes that whomever or whatever it’s directed toward over-analyzes.
If anyone ever gets the reference, though, they don’t tell me. I always make sure to say something if I sense an underlying reason for someone’s quoted status. Sometimes the person is like, “Wow, you got that? That’s totally what I meant!” But, most of the time, they either don’t respond (To me, that’s Facebook lingo for, “You’re totally over-analyzing, but I’m not enough of a jerk to call you out in front of the world of Facebook and make you look stupid”), or they call me out in front of the world of Facebook and make me look stupid.
On my inaugural creep of a new Facebook friend, if I find they have 400 profile pictures and 396 of them are MySpace-style self portraits in the mirror making the duck face, I judge. I don’t know if that’s entirely out of the ordinary — I think it’s safe to say most people will get the impression that user is pretty self-absorbed and really likes the way they look. Maybe that’s just general analysis.
While we’re on the topic of profile pictures, there’s always the “hidden meanings” in them, as well. If you’re in a relationship with someone, it’s not uncommon to set your profile picture as the two of you as a happy couple. But God help you the second you change it to a picture of, say, just yourself, or you and some friends. People will start wondering if maybe you’re mad at each other. Rumors will fly that you’re having relationship problems. Maybe one of you is cheating. It’s ridiculous, I know. But, believe me, I’ve seen it happen.
I try to limit my Facebook friends to people I actually interact with in real life (or used to and want to stay in touch with). But leave it to the one thing you don’t want that random acquaintance to see, and they’ll comment on it.
That always makes me wonder just how much of my personal stuff they’re actually creeping on. I like to imagine that only the people I have in mind when I post things see said posts but, of course, that’s not the case on Facebook. It’s times like those I wish Google+ would just catch on already, with their Circles. After worrying which things Random Acquaintance could have possibly seen in the past, I usually end up placing them on my no-no list in my privacy settings … for a little while, at least.
Say it’s your birthday. (“It’s my birthday, too, yeah!“) Everyone and their mother will wish you a happy one on your Wall (literally). And if you have a close Facebook friend who doesn’t (which I would define as someone you know in person and interact with on Facebook a lot), it’s on.
See, your birthday is the one time of the year people will creep out of the shadows and post on your Wall. Even if I agree 100% with a post of someone I never talk to on Facebook, I’d feel like a creep if I commented on it. We’ve all got to admit, there are some people we’re friends with solely to “silently” creep on. But that inhibition dissolves on someone’s birthday, where you’re almost obligated to write on their Wall, or else you’ll look like a jerk. I admit, I still hold it against at least a certain person who I know purposefully didn’t acknowledge my Facebook birthday. It’s ridiculous, I know. But it’s like a virtual slap in the face.
I always try to avoid statuses asking if “anyone” wants to do something. (Although, I did, out of desperation, ask who was up for sushi last week because I was craving it and Chris isn’t a fan of the raw fish. It led nowhere. I never got my sushi.) These statuses are traps: Either no one will comment on it, making you feel like a loser who has no friends, or all those Random Acquaintances from before will comment on it, leaving you in an awkward situation.
The “liking” option is sometimes dangerous, too. “Liking” something is usually a way of saying, “I agree casually.” Unless you write something about how bad your day sucks and someone “likes” it with no explanation. (A suitable explanaion could be: “‘Liked’ only because I agree — Not because of your situation!”) Or unless it’s one of those “Bobby went from being “In a Relationship” to “Single” notifications. Those are always fun for attracting the wrong kind of attention. The only other acceptable case for a “mean like” is if you’re good enough friends with the “liker” that you know they’re just messing with you. An unexplained “like” on a depressing status is like kicking someone when they’re down, and is grounds for unfriending.
On the topic of “liking,” “liking” one’s own status is almost never okay. It says: “I don’t know how to use Facebook,” or, “I’m that much of a loser.” Exceptions, of course, apply in the case of intentional situational humor.
Then, there’s the lingering friend request. You request to be someone’s friend, and they don’t accept or deny, but they just never confirm either way. This is a polite way of getting around things. You don’t want to feel mean and deny them, but you really don’t need them creeping on you. So you just let the request linger there in Friend Request Purgatory. I admit, I currently have over 20 of these — People I haven’t talked to since eighth grade who request to be friends with me, people I have never met in my life that come here for oilfield work and see I’m from North Dakota, and people I’ve unfriended because everything they post makes me want to vomit who just don’t get the hint and keep trying to re-friend me.
I thought I was crazy with my over-analysis of texting, but with the responses I got, I know I can’t be alone here, too. Or maybe I can. Feel free to let me know if I just need to take an extra dose of my happy pills with this one.
I’m a self-proclaimed foodie. Some people might call me a fatty. Either way, I enjoy food, and I’m not ashamed. When I had cable, my TV was on Food Network at least 80% of the time because I find it interesting, and because it’s relaxing background noise for doing homework. Now, I have to resort to planning my workouts around my TV schedule, and end up being “that girl” who’s watching Food Network while she’s running on the treadmill.
If you watch Food Network semi-regularly, you’ve probably seen a pretty popular show called “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.” It’s one of my favorite shows on the channel, along with “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” That’s probably because these shows pick out awesome little restaurants around the country and feature them for making fantastic food. I’ll totally stop at restaurants featured on the shows if I’m ever near any of them on vacation. (North Dakota doesn’t really get a whole lot of airtime.)
In fact, I would make a road trip out of it to go to some of the nearby places. It’s nothing to me — In high school, we used to drive 45 minutes to get a Whirl-a-Whip in Stanley, ND. (It’s kind of like a Blizzard from Dairy Queen, but known around the state.)
Although North Dakota (specifically, Grand Forks, ND — since that’s where I’m currently living) has never been featured on one of those Food Network shows, we’re home to some spots that are definitely worthy of some airtime. I finally visited one for the first time today, after a lot of curiosity and recommendations.
“Have you gone to Kegs yet?” my parents often asked me. I’d always do the mental head-slap, wondering why I didn’t think of it last time Chris and I were sitting around playing the “I dunno — What do you want to eat?” “I don’t care. What do you feel like?” game.
My dad often told me how he was a regular at Kegs when he was a student at the University of North Dakota, grabbing a monster burger or some onion rings on his way to work. The student-friendly prices haven’t changed. A huge, homemade cheeseburger was around $2.
I probably forgot about Kegs because it’s tucked in the middle of town. It’s plopped right in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Kegs definitely takes you by surprise a little when you first approach it. Aside from being a little dilapidated on the exterior, you can’t deny that it’s got a curiosity-sparking gravitational pull.
When my family and I pulled up, we were the only car in the lot. It’s a true old-fashioned, 1950s drive-in. You press the button on the menu when you’re ready to order, and the waitress brings you your food on a tray. It first opened in the 1930s, as part of a local seven-restaurant chain. This Kegs is the last one that remains.
We were a little unsure it was still open until we saw a fluorescent-shirted worker passing behind the counter inside. We discovered she was pretty disgruntled, to say the least, but I think it added to the whole experience. Besides, the food is worth it.
They’re known for their sloppy joes — That’s what I had. I didn’t think you could really do much with a sloppy joe recipe, but there was definitely just something better about it. They’re also known for their root beer, as you can probably tell by their signature keg-architecture, but they have a whole slew of beverage choices, like homemade vanilla, lime, and cherry Coke and even a chocolate Coke, which I might have to try next time.
Their burgers and onion rings were perfection, too. I had a bite of my dad’s and will definitely be trying that next time. As my brother said, it tasted like 1953. And in the best possible way. There’s just something about a really great cheeseburger that makes everything seem right in the world. Or maybe that’s just me and my foodie-fattiness.
Not long after we arrived, Kegs quickly filled up with cars full of people young and old. Battle Axe Waitress and her younger counterpart remained efficient, although Battle Axe also remained pretty crabby.
There’s just something about places like Kegs — They’ve been around forever because they’ve been doing things right. Grand Forks, like any city, is rich with tradition, but a lot of those traditions stem from the University and its hockey team.
Kegs is a place that hangs onto a tradition of its own.
“You never know. This could be the last time we eat here. They’ll probably tear it down by the time we get back to Grand Forks,” my parents were saying, acknowledging they’d said the same things 20 years ago when they were in school.
I’ve got a feeling Kegs isn’t going anywhere.
I’m a natural blonde. I’ve never been a redhead (except the one and only time I became a brunette just out of curiosity and my hair kind of started turning auburn). You wouldn’t be able to tell by how prone I am to sunburn, though. I’ve got just enough Norwegian in me that I can’t quite enjoy the sun.
Contrary to popular belief, North Dakota does get warm for a few months. It’s an extreme climate. In fact, I had a Facebook status a few weeks ago that I think summed it up perfectly: “North Dakota: One of the only places on earth where you can experience what both 111 degrees and -50 degrees feels like.” I’m not exaggerating. We’ve been battling a heat wave that just recently let up enough for us to enjoy some time outside.
But even on those rare days when it’s 75 or 80, breezy, and the mosquitoes actually aren’t gnawing at any bit of exposed flesh they can find, I can’t win. I had a coffee on the patio at Starbucks with Chris one afternoon for 25 minutes tops. I was under an umbrella in the shade. My shoulders still gleamed red afterward. So much so that mere acquaintances winced at them in empathetic pain and suggested aloe vera.
I think it’s just North Dakota. I think being confined indoors, seeking shelter from blizzards and frostbite nine or more months out of the year, deteriorates whatever endurance you may have had for the sun.
In fact, I have evidence of this.
Chris’s background is Italian. When my grandma saw a picture of him she commented, “Oh, he’s so dark!” For North Dakota, yes. His so-brown-it’s-almost-black hair and golden skin sticks out a little against all of the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Norwegians here. And, I admit, he’s naturally several shades darker than my general hue of purple. (My translucent skin usually gives way to my blood vessels underneath. Yummy.) But set Chris out in the sun for a couple of hours, and he bronzes up like a freshly-baked calzone.
Or, he used to. Now he has to worry a little about sunburn, a phenomenon he’d never experienced before spending a winter in North Dakota. Longing for warmer weather, he spent spring break in Malibu, California, his first year at UND. He came back with a peeling sunburn. Coincidence? I think not.
I’m finally taking a few days off from North Dakota living and heading east in two weeks, spending a few days in Pennsylvania, a few in Virginia, and a few days on the beach in Delaware. [I CAN'T WAIT.] I’m fully prepared to become Lobster-Kaitlin, as usual. Even when my initial burn has turned into my version of a “base tan,” I’m no match for a few days baking on the beach.
A lot of girls here, though, do achieve a bronzed-goddess glow. (Especially female athletes of winter sports — Have you ever watched a high school girls’ basketball game in North Dakota?) I’m jealous of them … and their perfect ankles. I think they achieve it from a combination of much more fortunate genes than those I was graced with and chronic fake-baking.
Even though my dad and grandma tan easily and burn little, I ended up with the crappy end of the gene pool in many areas: yucky toenails, fine hair, inability to tan, and the dreaded CANKLES. I do make a few trips to the tanning bed a year. (I know how bad it is. I only go a few times a year to acclimate my skin to ultraviolet rays in an attempt to avoid the inevitable melanoma-causing, molt-inducing sunburn that will confine me to a tub full of aloe vera lotion for a week.) Still, any tan I ever accumulate fades almost as quickly as I got it.
Sigh … the joys of a North Dakota summer. The only thing that’s worse is a North Dakota winter.
P.S. Just so someone else might have some entertainment out of my unpleasant situation, I’ll post a picture if I end up burned at the beach.
My hometown of Williston, ND, is definitely in its own little bubble. The entire state of North Dakota pretty much is, but Williston and other boom towns are a breed of their own.
I haven’t lived in Williston for an extended period of time since the summer of 2009. A lot was changing even then in the steadily growing oil town, but it wasn’t even close to approaching the radical changes it’s undergone in the years since then. Changes that have gained national attention, happening right in my “boring” backyard. (If you haven’t checked outPart I and Part II, there’s some more information about Williston there.)
As a senior in high school in 2008, after working my way up the “corporate” ladder for the past three years at the local Subway restaurant, I was finally making $10.25 an hour as a supervisor slinging sandwiches. (Yay alliteration!) When I tell my friends this, even friends from North Dakota, they’re usually pretty amazed I got that kind of pay working at a Subway restaurant. (And, I’ll admit, I miss it a lot.)
But things are even vastly different since then. My 16 year-old brother just got his first job this summer working on an asphalt crew. The team consists mostly of females, because all the older guys who would normally be working construction are working on the oil rigs. His starting wage is $15 an hour. I’ve never made that much in my life, and I’m jealous.
But why do manual labor for $15 an hour when you could work in a fast food restaurant?
And the $10.25 an hour at Subway that I’d worked my way up from my starting wage of $5.75? Yeah.
But that’s what employers need to do to entice help in Williston — A place where there are tons of jobs, tons of people, no place to put them all, and very little for them to do recreationally. After all, if you or your significant other could be making more than people with college degrees, especially in this economy, why wouldn’t you?
Exactly. Which is why a lot of people from all across the country are doing that.
But finding employees is only half the battle for non-oilfield employers in Williston. Keeping good employees is a big problem, too. People leave jobs in a heartbeat with no warning in favor of better opportunities … or sometimes just in favor of sitting at home. All the restaurants and stores are so busy there, keeping up with the demand gets to be a lot for anyone. (It was even crazy when I worked at Subway before the peak of the oil boom — Our restaurant was considered a “high-volume” store among other Subways nationwide.) For this reason, some employers are taking steps to nip that situation in the bud:
Housing in Williston, when available, is priced in relation to the competitive wages. I think it’s kind of a chicken and egg situation, but whether the housing prices are in response to the amount people are getting paid, or the amount people getting paid is compensating for the rise in housing prices, they’re definitely both high. Like, you could rent an apartment in New York City for the price of apartments in Williston.
I was glad to see, though, that while I was perusing The Shopper, some things haven’t changed.
Well, I guess I don’t know if I can say “glad.” The camouflage tux was always something my dates threatened me with during prom season.
In case you primarily keep up on this blog, I thought I’d let you know about my small success on my identical blog (just through wordpress.com only, not AreaVoices). I started out on this blog and decided to duplicate it over to AreaVoices platform, too.
My WordPress blog and post about over-analyzing texts is featured on “Freshly Pressed” today, a selection of blogs featured on the wordpress.com homepage. In blogging world, it’s kind of a big deal — Completely unexpected, super excited. It’s like being a celebrity for a day. As a result, my blog has received 1,342 (and counting) views today alone!
Just thought I’d share my excitement! If you want to check it out, head to wordpress.com and check out the “Freshly Pressed” boxes on the home page. You can’t miss it! Thanks for reading!
I’m not gonna lie, I’m feeling pretty savvy and exclusive right now. I just got on Google+. Sure, I realize Google recently reopened invites in hopes to “double” the numbers of people using the service in its “field trial,” and that millions of people are now on it (see the end of this post) but as someone who’s constantly connected and loves anything new in the form of social networking, I’m loving the chance to be a part of it. Plus, I’m still a couple weeks ahead of the curve, with the expected public release of Google+ speculated to be July 31.
Of course, it’s not exactly a Facebook killer yet, for me at least, since I only have like five friends in my Circles. A friend who invited me to Google+ was discussing with me whether it could be a Facebook killer in the future. It’s hard to say. Here’s why:
Circles — The strict privacy settings, while awesome, inhibit creeping: the name of the game on Facebook. Your account comes with four predetermined Circles: Friends, Family, Acquaintances, and Following. When you connect with new people, you have the option of placing them in as many Circles as they belong in (and you have the ability to create new circles to fit your personalized needs). Your friends will never see the Circle you placed them in, only that you’ve added them to your Circles. So, say you find your high school’s prom queen, with whom you never particularly got along. Of course, you’re going to want to creep on her to see if karma’s bitten her in the butt yet, but you don’t exactly want her to see everything you’re doing. If you place her in a Circle with limited visibility to your online antics entitled, “People Who Suck,” she’ll never know the difference. Keep in mind, she can do the same to you, rendering your attempt at creeping futile.
I always try to keep my personal Facebook profile as private and squeaky clean to those who might use information against me as possible. (Not that I do terrible things, but sometimes I have whiny, venting statuses. Sometimes I post “inappropriate” humor. I don’t need future employers to see that.) But they’ve made the privacy settings such a labyrinth to try to navigate that it’s become physically impossible to heighten my privacy to a level it was before they made all their changes. This is where Google+ comes in — While Facebook says you can control exactly who sees everything you post, they’re not taking into account that you might not have known to do three backflips and drink a glass of chocolate milk upside down, a necessary step to ensure the change goes into effect. I’ve seen people’s comments on statuses of people I’m not even friends with. Granted, I am a seasoned creeper. If I could do it for a living, I would. I’ve found ways to get information I want on even the most private of profiles. I don’t think Google+ will allow me to do that, but we’ll see once my circles grow a little.
Photos — Google+’s photo uploading capabilities are both awesome and terrifying. You have the potential to set up instant and automatic uploads from your phone’s photo gallery. Yeah, don’t freak out. All the photos go to a private album associated with your Google+ account on Picasa (which I’ll talk about a little later). You can then decide who you share your photos with, if anyone at all. This feature still freaks me out a little bit. I don’t want to end up accidentally seeing pictures of my friends that were meant for significant others only, if you know what I mean. Hopefully everyone will use their power of privacy control wisely in this area. I can’t say much about my personal use of the feature — It worked well to upload my existing photos from my phone. I like the idea that they go to Picasa, too, where you can easily store them on your computer in folders and edit them before sharing.
Speaking of Picasa, word is that with the public launch of Google+, Google plans to retire the non-Googley sounding names of Picasa and Blogger, their popular photo sharing and blogging platforms. In an effort for Google accounts to be streamlined and have a distinct Google identity, rumor is they will change the names of the services to Google Photos and Google Blogs. The services themselves won’t be dismantled, just streamlined. It’s been speculated that other Google brands with non-Google names will be affected, but YouTube will remain YouTube. (Cue collective sigh of relief.)
Seamlessness — Come on, Facebook has been flopping a little lately. First their initially widely-buzzed-about-but-rarely-used e-mail service, and just last week, the “something awesome” Zuckerberg was getting everyone hyped about turned out to be Skype integration into Facebook’s preexisting chat feature, and a sidebar on the right side of the screen shoving everyone you talk to most at you. Google+ has something similar and more.
Huddles and hangouts are Google+’s ways to connect with friends. Huddles are “super fast group messaging for your circles” according to the Huddle app that comes with your Google+ app download. It’s basically like a group chat (or it could be a one-on-one chat, I suppose), only Google+ will actually notify you on your phone if someone messages you from a Huddle when you’re away from the computer. Facebook’s app has been notorious for automatically showing you as available to chat, and then not notifying you on your phone (or later on the site) when you receive a message. So, basically, people think you’re ignoring them. Can we say drama starter? Google+ huddles not only notify you, but let you respond quickly and efficiently from your phone just like texting. Sounds like it’ll be awesome once I get a few more friends to huddle with.
Hangouts are almost exactly like Facebook’s new video message integration, only not through Skype. The only problem I have with these features is that my computer doesn’t have a built in webcam, so my lack of enthusiasm about them may be a result of my bitterness.
Besides the perfection of these features, Google is a proven brand on many levels – Gmail, Docs, Calendar, etc. All of these accounts are streamlined in one place when you sign in on Google+. Convenience to the max.
According to census data from Ancentry.com’s founder Paul Allen, Google+ is growing exponentially, and probably has somewhere near 5 million users even in its field trial stage. He based his estimate on the amount of people with certain last names who had profiles on Google+. In fact, since I initially drafted this post about an hour ago, that number has skyrocketed to an estimated 10 million Google+ users by the end of the day Tuesday. To this information, Mark Zuckerberg retorted that Facebook recently reached 750 million users, but didn’t proclaim the milestone because it doesn’t matter how many users they have anymore. Rawr hiss.
All in all, Google has a solid product with Google+, but only time will tell where that will get them. Personally, I can only handle having one primary social networking presence. I have a Twitter, but I rarely post on it (mainly because it’s basically got to be public, or else why even have one?). I think Google+ could have the power to overthrow Facebook, but it’s all about who joins. People will go where their friends are. Maybe we’ll be watching The [New] Social Network: Google+ Edition in a few years. But who am I to say? I used MySpace as my primary social network until my first semester of college in 2008.
Not a particularly welcoming salutation. Not unfriendly, but no enthusiasm. It’s firm. Finite. Is he mad?
This one’s completely different. It’s casual. The lack of punctuation says, “I’m on the go — Just didn’t have time for that little dot!”
If you find this analysis over-the-top and slightly nauseating, I’m with you, but there’s nothing I can do about it — I perpetuate the practice daily.
In a world where we’d rather text than pick up the phone and risk having toÂ actually talk to someone, this kind of decoding is commonplace … dare I say, necessary. So many subtle nuances of conversation are simply absent in texting — It takes the human element out communication — something inherently human. And, if you’re like me, you feel the need to fill the void.
Take this interchange with my boyfriend I recently had via text message:
Chris: “I dunno we are getting dry wall and stuff plus [it's] thirsty thursday”
Me: “Out or in? I’m off work at 4:30, but will probably go to wellness [center].”
Me: “What are those dots for??”
As a rule, if someone sends an ellipsis at the end of a message, I assume they: A. want something from me and are hoping I pick up on it B. are mad or C. are insinuating something. This situation didn’t seem appropriate for A or C, so I jumped to conclusions and assumed he was mad.
Which would have been a bad thing. Have you ever been in a fight over text messaging? I swear, Chris and I have had more arguments over text than in person. And I hate that. Here’s a giant hint to men of the world: Women analyzeÂ everything. If you’re having an argument with your significant other over texts, especially if it’s particularly heated, she’s going to be decoding every single letter. You don’t want this. She could be surrounded by a group of her friends, spurring her on, fueling her anger as they read your every response. She can and most likely will take everything you say in the worst way possible.
“You shouldn’t be okay that I feel this way.”
To which he responded,
“I’m not sorry” (period left from the end of the sentence on purpose)
And this is where the wrath of Kaitlin exploded. I probably sent him a four message-long text raging about this or that. To me, I saw that he was not sorry for having hurt my feelings. To him, he meant, “I’m not okay with that. I’m sorry.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are the obviously pissed off responses I might send in hopes of showing the recipient that I’m mad.
If I don’t know you well, lack of exclamation points or smiley faces are a signal of me purposefully being impolite. Wow. That makes me want to throw up a rainbow it sounds so Valley Girl-ish, but I guess it’s true. If I like you, I want it to be apparent that I’m excited to be making plans with you … So apparently I show my excitement like a junior high girl writing a doodle-filled note to her new boyfriend. Yuck.
Abbreviations are whatever. If you send a text that says only, “lol,” I will call you out on it. I guarantee you are not laughing out loud. Plus, that’s the ultimate conversation stopper. “Lol” alone really says, “There are a million other better things I want to be doing right now. Stop pestering me.” If you’re going to use abbreviations, make sure they’re somewhat universal. Most people know what “OMG,” “LOL,” “BRB,” “BTW,” “IDK,” “FYI,” “WTF,” and similar abbreviations mean. But if I get a text that looks like this,
“Hey! LTNS! Wud u lk 2 get 2gether w/me 4 sushi this fri? IMNECTHO, dwntwn is best. KIT!” (Which apparently would be a way of asking someone out for sushi.Â LTNS = Long time no see,Â IMNECTHO = In my not even close to humble opinion,Â KIT = Keep in touch –Â I can’t make this stuff up.)
There’s always the classic text message typos, a result of text input methods like Swype, T9, and efforts from “smart” phones to autocorrect. They’re always good for a laugh, but usually you can figure out what’s trying to be said. Sometimes, though, it makes for a really embarrassing situation. There’s a whole site devoted to typos like this one:
“K” is theÂ universal pissy text. “K.” (note the period) is even worse. Generally, if you get this text, you have done something wrong. Unless you’re messaging one of those people who just use it because the effort to type the “o” in front of the “k” is just too much. And that’s where miscommunication comes from.
If you’re reading this thinking, “Holy crap, this girl is psycho. Who spends that much time analyzing the texts they get?” you are also contributing to the miscommunication. I’ve talked to tons of high school and college-aged people about this and they agree: There’s an etiquette to texting for the generations who now use it as their primary source of communication. It’s not the quick, efficient way to contact someone in absence of a phone call anymore; it’s its own language.
Have we no minds or imaginations anymore?!? I’m not one to talk — I’ve been suffering from a major lack of ideas of what to write about lately. I find it a little ironic that this is what I came up with.
But if anyone can respect a good movie or song reference, it’s me. A ton of my type of humor relies on pop culture references. But there’s a fine line between a witty reference or an inventive use of “sampling,” and becoming a mindless pop culture spewing drone.
Summer has long been known as the season of the sequel at the movie theater. And with the list of sequels getting longer each season, the lack of original movies becomes pretty apparent. If you’ve clamored to 12 a.m. sneak preview showings to see Transformers 3, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Hangover 2, and already are the proud owner of tickets to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, you’re not alone. (I haven’t seen the first two, but I admit, I enjoyed The Hangover 2 … Even more than the original, which stressed me out a lot. Yeah, that’s how neurotic I am.)
But at least movie sequels make it obvious what the original is they’re referencing. Sampling is a practice that’s becoming increasingly popular in mainstream music. I’m not knocking it — It can be a real art. I think it’s usually a great way for an artist to repurpose a song that inspired them and make it their own. The thing I have beef with is when songs I liked months or years ago are sampled and the resulting song becomes more popular. Top 40 lovers know every word to the new song, but in my experience, an alarming amount have no idea that there was an original song behind it.
If you like any of the songs on the left, you may want to have a listen to the songs on the right. Click the links to hear the songs.
“The Show Goes On” by Lupe Fiasco ——- “Float On” by Modest Mouse (I recently heard a local DJ try to credit the original song, but mis-identified the band as Muse. It took all I had not to call in to the radio station and start screeching.)
“Paper Planes” by M.I.A. ——- “Straight to Hell” by The Clash – My dad is a fan of The Clash and would play them a lot when I was younger, which is probably the reason I like “Paper Planes” so much. “It ain’t Coca-Cola, it’s rice.”
Is the practice of sampling and referencing burrowing its way into everyday life? I can almost never get through a conversation without making or hearing a reference to something. I know I do it all the time. Is that okay?
Well, Houston, we may have a problem. It seems what we have here is a failure to communicate. Then again, perhaps frankly, my dears, we shouldn’t give a damn. After all, if all we do is make sequels, sample songs, and quote movies in conversations, our brains will have so much more room for activities. Maybe we can’t handle the truth that we’re just running out of original thoughts. Maybe the sun will come out tomorrow, and we’ll think up some stuff on our own for a change. Until then, hasta la vista, baby.
If you’re reading this, you probably only think about me when you’re reading my blog. Unless I actually know you personally, or unless you’re a creepy stalker. But I happen to think about me a lot. I don’t think that makes me selfish necessarily, maybe just … self-centered? Or, you know, maybe just an average human who looks out for his or her own best interests. You be the judge.
Honestly, this post is primarily personally cathartic. I’m posting about more of my personal self than I thought I’d like to and pretending nobody will read this post. It’s just, sometimes to untangle my thoughts best, I need to comb through them by writing them down. And if you end up reading them, well … I didn’tÂ make you click on my blog.
In any case, I never usually make my “self-focused” … ness public, so this is new to me. In fact, I’m what you could call a people pleaser. I would rather do something I hate than dare suggest to someone else to do something I like that they hate. (If you’re cleaning up chunks of your frontal lobe off the wall from your brain explosion after reading that sentence, you’re not alone. I apologize, I’m too apathetic to make it clearer to understand right now.)
Today, though, I spent 30 minutes on hold with a CERTAIN cable and Internet provider and, while it was really annoying, it gave me a lot of time to think about me. But mostly, thinking about me really means thinking about all the things I should be doing, which, I guess, is more reflective of my anxiety disorder than my selfishness.
Still, today I was thinking about my future a little bit. Right now, according to LSAC.org at least, I’m a future J.D. student. And I’m always a little reluctant to tell people that because part of me isn’t convinced I can do it. And because a lot of people whose opinions I value most don’t entirely support the decision, even though it’s been one of my top career choices since I was in high school.
I’m not going to lie, I’m aiming high — So high I don’t dare tell you where my goals are for fear of jinxing myself. Ever since choosing a college for my undergrad, I longed to go big — Go coastal, go somewhere that would accept me only because of my very highest credentials. But I never got the chance to apply out of state, so I’m seeking to fulfill that now. And I’m really feeling a bit of a glass ceiling that has nothing to do with my gender and everything to do with my geographic location — completely of my own construction.
I’m a North Dakota girl … As much as it pains me to admit it. I’ve always longed to blend in to big city life but, try as I might, I always look like a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed tourist. And I guess that doesn’t give me a terrible track record. After all, I’ve only been to big cities (think D.C., Atlanta, NYC, Minneapolis, Philadelphia) like five times in my life.
Don’t get me wrong — I have ample encouragement in favor of the law degree, too. Even those who think I’d be better suited doing something else still offer encouragement when needed. (And, P.S., I would never be the kind of lawyer who steps foot in a courtroom. I’d rather do the boring stuff: research, work in the legal department of a company, or for the government, or for a non-profit.) The most discouraging factor which keeps self-defeating thoughts chirping in the back of my mind is my still-perfectly-above-average-but-less-than-impressive-for-my-perfectionistic-standards LSAT score. (It’s not widely known, but the LSAT is a completely arbitrary measure of abstract skills you’d need to succeed in your first year of law school. It is brutal, and one of its primary purposes, aside from serving as a measuring stick, is to prevent people from applying to law school.)
But aside from leaving my family and everything that’s familiar to me, I can’t help but question: If I don’t have a stellar score, is that an indication that I should think twice about my career choice? Everyone close to me saysÂ this is what I should be doing: Writing for an audience. That’s what I pursued throughout college. And I’ve been decent at it — I’ve definitely had successes beyond any of my own expectations. But, for whatever reason, it didn’t make me happy like I thought it would. I wish it did. It would make my life a lot easier. But it just doesn’t. I like doing it casually, like this, but once it becomes a job, it’s different.
It’s the same with North Dakota. I’m sure I’d enjoy it if I wasn’t from here. I wish it made me happy to live here — The economy is good. The cost of living is low. The pace of life is relaxed. But it just leaves me feeling … unfulfilled.
And that’s when I realized: Oh, my God. I’m having a mid-life crisis. Already? FirstÂ wrinkles, now this? Next, I’ll have a red convertible sports car and be dating a Justin Beiber lookalike.
And then Margaret’s flat, polite, yet unfriendly voice cut off the terrible scratchy hold music and asked if she could help me. Sure, I thought. I’dÂ had too much to think. It’s a vice I’m working on.