Thursday, October 28, 2010

Facebook: Good or Bad?

It can become an addiction. I don't think I'm alone on this one.

Below I will discuss some of the finer points of this social network and what attracts us to this beast called Facebook.

I'm constantly looking at pictures of myself and my friends. I look at party photos, photos from the bar, vacation photos, photos with celebrities, dancing photos, etc. Some I look at over and over again. Most of these are of myself. Am I a narcissist?

Status updates
The status updates have taken up much of my time too. Often I consider what my status update will be on my ride home from work. If I'm listening to a song, I sometimes try to work it in. I fully understand that this is kind of dorky but I can't help myself. I judge others by their status updates. Sometimes it's best to have nothing. Sometimes I'm really turned off by a status update. I hope mine don't turn others off, but I'm sure it happens. I'm quite capable of posting lame shit. I'm not above it.

I'm compulsive with comments. I snoop around and look for something to respond to. Whether it's about a photo, article, or status update, if it grabs me, I'm gonna comment, and occasionally rant (especially if it's political related). I've lost friends over my commenting. The ones who stick around, and I have close to 300, either ignore everything I comment on, or, are really true friends, or somewhere in between. I often fear, like many, that I will come home after a few too many beverages and post some really embarrassing stuff. So far, I've been okay, I think. It could've been worse.

Aside from photos, status updates, and comments, Facebook is great for events and writing notes or blogging like this on you're reading. Facebook and Myspace (which has a better blog set-up) has inspired me to create Dainty Bones.

So after evaluating the above, is Facebook good or bad?

It's hard to say. I think it's great that I'm not watching really any television anymore and also that I'm being amused and entertained by my friends. It's also interactive. This is all good.

It starts to become bad when you find yourself conversing with people about who or what was posted on Facebook. This is kind of sad. And yes, many of my conversations have consisted of that. It feels weird. This is when Facebook is an issue.

Moderation/Balance is the answer.

...and I just wrote a whole blog on Facebook, a social network, and I'm 34 years old too...kind of pathetic.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

West Reading Blues

I have an odd break on Tuesdays this term (5pm-8pm), so either I'll drive around or explore local places.

Today I went to West Reading.

I stopped in at the West Reading Tavern and sat on the other side of 2 lesbians. One was more butch than the other. I sat next to the more appealing one(yes, I made a judgement). The West Reading Tavern is quite a warm feeling place. They have the lighting correct and for the most part it's interior design is done well for a tavern. The only downfall about the place is that West Reading or Reading's elite hang out there. Middle aged to old people, wealthy, for this area. Kind of annoying and uptight but they dress okay considering. I sense an attitude from them.

In between my 2nd and 3rd ale (and they also have good beers on tap), I heard the lesbian sitting next to me complain about how Justin Bieber is 16 years old and getting all the women and she can't. In my head I wanted to tell her to put out some bad pop songs and she'd be in heaven. I don't even know who he is.(Later at Barnes and Noble I spotted a CD from him with a sappy head shot.)

After that, the same woman, who I was beginning to think was cute (this was after alcohol intake), in a rough sort of way, was whining about football. The drinks I had were strong, so I weighed in at told her it was militaristic and sophisticated. She didn't give a f###. She probably saw me as the dainty effeminate dude with nice hair and sideburns. I'm probably quite low on her list, next to the vermin and the elephant man.

I ate my burger(which they prepared nice and bloody as I requested), shut the f$$$ up, and walked down the street to local (independent-Paul David respects this.) record store. I was there 6 years ago and the same woman works there. I bought a Thrills CD then, and it was good. She gives off a dark cold sexy vibe to some extent.

Tonight I bought the new Sufjan Stevens CD and kind of regret it now, listening to it. I liked Illinois a lot, but not much else from 'eem. Truth be told.

I headed back to my car and pulled it all together. Chugged a lot of water in the driver's seat. Where the Hardbean Cafe is they're putting in a video game store. What a waste of a great space. I kind of hope it fails.

To hell with the new video games and Justin Bieber. I'm sounding like an old man. So much for the city.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Travel: Train Ride to Montreal

A few days ago some friends of mine and I decided on a New Year's trip via train to Montreal, from New York. The ride takes about 10 hours and 15 minutes. It's only 62$ 1-way.

I'm quite excited about this and I may have to calm down. I can't think of a better way to travel with friends and alcohol. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time but it'll be way more enjoyable with my drunk friends. It will be like a confined moving 10 hour party.

Currently we're looking into Hotels or Hostels.

Montreal is a great town with "something" for everyone. I've been there many times but never with a group.

I will give updates on the planning process and give a full report when this takes place.

On the Teaparty-ers.

I'm not affiliated with them. I share some of their views. I fear that they started out with good intentions and have been taken over by the powers that be. This is somewhat of a repeat of 1994, with a more grassroots look. Whether it's truly grassroots I don't know.

I have a tough time taking small government people seriously if they still support our current foreign and militaristic approach. I have a tough time taking small government people seriously if they still support the war on drugs.

I think most critics of the TP'ers are pretty pathetic as well. Please don't misunderstand. There are idiots in the TP movement. But, it seems like much of the left's criticism is to call them racists. I think their energy would be used more efficiently if they looked at the horrible job their own president is doing.

This being said, I wouldn't be surprised if (they get elected)TP'ers go along with big government spending if a mainstream Republican gets elected. This is what happened under Bush who ran on a small government platform.

The system seems to be very cyclical at this point. At least since I started following it in the 1990's. It's pretty predictable. It's hard to take anything seriously. Glenn Beck was once calling Ron Paul dangerous to America, now he welcomes him on his show. Glenn Beck is a supporter of the military industrial complex too. This is absurd.

Don't hold your breath on the TP'ers and I didn't on Change.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fire Companies and Social Halls.

My grandparents were old school working class. Their educations didn't go much past 5th grade.

They needed a nightlife though. Yes, even to run game.

Pittsburgh in the 1920's and 30's was an industrial powerhouse of country and dare I say world. (Now it's all universities and hospitals which is good too, but doesn't produce much wealth for the whole population).

Grandma joined the Polish Falcons which was and is a social club. I believe they spent much of their time at the fire hall too. I've seen pictures. They looked pretty handsome back then. I didn't get their genes.

My dad and mom moved to a place called Shadyside, a more trendy side of town which is now completely gentrified. Growing up in Shadyside and having a few rich kid friends gave me, and I think others, a really negative view of the fire halls and social drinking clubs. We, or I, saw these as places where the uneducated "hunkies" (slang for eastern european trash/labourer) and "pollocks" hung out speaking in their horrible Pittsburgh-ese (i,e "yins"). The scene was primitive and backward to us. Not unlike how some would view a redneck bar. (This was in the 1980's - when I had these thoughts)

Moving ahead, let's say 25 years, I find myself in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, regularly frequenting the Fire Company. Yes, even looking forward to it. It looks similar to a picture I've seen of my grandparents. The horrible Pittsburgh way of speaking (which I now appreciate) has now been replaced by the Pennsylvania Dutch accent.

There is a peculiar warmth I get when I enter the Fire Company. It's by far not the most flashy place. The lighting could be better. But I feel quite at home here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Farm Stories.

Everyone seems to have farm stories these days. I'm trying to follow this trend. I'm usually late when it comes to trends. This farm story is not romantic or even organic. I won't glorify exploitation. I'm exposing it.

My dear old man needed a break from engineering and decided to start a farm. He decided to have his children work on the farm. I was 5 or 6 at the time. This is the early 80's.

I remember working what seemed like forever for some wages. I was a little skinny pale kid. I never cared for labour. Still don't. Ask Danny. My memories of picking vegatables mainly consist of complaining and getting stung by flying aints. I remember what seemed like endless rows of veggies. Mainly green beans. I picked a little corn too.

It was payday. Dad drove up in his sky blue 1967 chevy pick up as I recall. He had our money. I remember being payed exactly $7.

This was disappointing.

I walked away quietly and tore up the money. It's hard to rip up money when you're five.

A few days later my father found the torn up cash. He wasn't pissed at me. I think he was amused that I was a stubborn bastard even back then.

(This is one of the few times in my life I've ever took a stand or made a statement about anything)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Virgin Blog.

Welcome. The cherry has been popped. My blog cherry.
I've wanted to do this for awhile. Now I finally did. I've written notes on Myspace and Facebook, but now I'm going full force!

I have somethings to say. um.
First, who am I?
I'm a 34 year old male, professional male, if you will. I write songs and perform music on the side. I like to dance sometimes. I mainly like being entertained by those around me. I like competitions, especially with cooking. I like argueing with people. I don't like authoritarian sociopaths. I can be an authoritarian sociopath when it comes to my stuff. I live on the east coast and will most likely die here unless I get a job offer in a foreign country.

Look for brief, emotional, sometimes rational, sometimes irrational thoughts on current events, my life and times, and the life and times of others, as well as abstract concepts. I will be anonymous when it comes to mentioning others in my life. I like stirring the pot.
I look forward to your future responses to my posts.