Tag Archives: pinterest

Open in New Tab

11 Sep

Friends, family, fangirls:

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the world is full of things.

Full of them.

There is an abundance of stuff, indoors and outdoors, in people’s heads, on their tongues, hidden in places we’ll never find, and on billboards for everyone to see. It’s everywhere you look.

Therefore, focusing on just one of those things is a task whose difficulty I consistently underestimate.

Focus is harder than you would expect an unobtrusive, two-syllable word to be. And in this generation, it is even worse. I usually try to console myself by saying that of course I have problems focusing, all Half-bloods have ADHD symptoms, so why should I be any exception?

That excuse is a little more problematic that I like my excuses to be, but I take what I can get.

When I can’t focus, my brain turns into a weird Twilight Zone version of youtube. I’ve got one thing going over here, and I’m trying to pay attention to it, but there’s something in my mental sidebar I need to check out as well. So I hit “open in new tab” and try to remember to think about that next. Then I see something else I should look at. Thirty seconds later I have forty-two tabs open, and some of the audio is overlapping and I can’t find which one is making the noise and anyway the internet connection is slowing down and nothing is working anyway and then

nope.

Any semblance of concentration I had has evaporated.

Time to lie down and try to calm the brain-static.

Or

Maybe I’ll just open a new tab and browse something to settle my mind down!

Even worse: Maybe I’ll just open a new tab and browse something while I work in another window!

Public service announcement: You cannot write a speech and watch Psych at the same time. There. I just saved you two hours of poorly-written drivel and not-properly-enjoyed Psych. You’re welcome.

I don’t know about you guys, but I am a multitasker only in that I like to sing show tunes while I wash dishes. If I try anything else, especially academics-related, the only result is that I do two things poorly instead of just one.

That’s efficiency, people. Take notes. And even without the multi-tasking trap, sometimes I use other ways to trick myself into opening that new tab; such as logging onto pinterest to inspire my brain to do something creative. Adorably naive of me, I know.

As much as you might think it will, clicking through pins of TARDIS-themed shoes, Misha Collins, Great Gatsby quotes, and plant terrariums does not give a brain ideas.  It just goes,

     “Hey, this is fun. We should do nothing more often.”

“I brought you here to get inspired, brain.”

     “That so? You’re hilarious. But not as hilarious as this gif of Zachary Quinto.”

“Mm, you have a good point.” *opens gif in new tab*

I think I’ve made my point. It’s barely even the problem of procrastination – it’s distraction. And procrastination. There’s a fair amount of both, but hey, stay with me here, I’m getting to the point in the post that you read in your serious voice.

I was talking about the overabundance of stuff at the beginning of this post. It’s not just school that is affected by stuff, there’s work, there’s relationships, there’s good old fashioned life. Stuff is still there. Distractions and obstacles and hurdles made of the stuffiest stuff that stuff can be made out of.

This post is stuff.

I’m sorry, but it’s true. I’ve lured you into more stuff.

Stuff is by no means always terrible thing. There’s just a limit to how much we can handle at once. Being bogged down by a lot of good uses for your time is still being bogged down. It’s more than okay to take a break and get away from stuff.

If this post is one of the things between you and that thing you have to get done, I apologize. Hit the little X button on the top of this window and flee to somewhere where nothing has a glowing screen.

Trust me, that wakes up your brain and brings it to attention far faster than any board on Pinterest.

I’m doing okay so far. I know that focus is attainable.

If I can just stay in one tab for a while, then I’ll be fine.

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Socially Involved

15 Aug

Social media is brilliant. It can bring attention to a cause, traffic to a business, or friends to friends. Not to mention, it gives us a way to be “social” without leaving our safe little wifi fortresses.

However, as with many beneficial things, there is a flip side.

According to the mainly speculative and/or imaginary studies conducted by myself, social media’s main endeavor seems to be to make “friends” want to slap each other in the mouth.

Why is this? That’s what the researchers researcher at Mainly Speculative Studies has been trying to figure out.

When I was just a tater tot (thirteen years old), I was eager, to say the least, to get a facebook. My two older sisters had had theirs for quite a while, and every time I saw them updating a status, I gave an inward sigh and longed for the day when I, too, would grace the internet with witty, yet insightful, updates about my life. The day finally arrived when I got one. I set up an account with an eighteen-character password (which is way more trouble than my privacy is worth), and wrote my first post about my elk hunting trip.

(And then about seventeen seconds later, I accepted a friend request from the only vegan I know. Oops.)

Anyway, when we all got facebooks and other various social media accounts, it was a brave new world.

And it wasn’t long before we all became disillusioned.

Grammar errors. That’s just a given. Every English nerd out there is disappointed with the internet. But then there were vague “Don’t even ask about how crummy I’m feeling right now” and the “You know who you are” posts.

There was that one person who puts seven ellipses in every status.

There was that one relative who think he’s building everyone up with his twice-a-day inspirational quotes.

And then, oh yes, hashtags were finally enabled for people who wanted to know how many of their facebook friends had a #sunburn. (No one. No one wants to know that.)

And social media uneasiness: Making sure that post is perfect, looking to see if your pin got as many repins as you think it deserved, finding that someone has tagged you in a photo that is less than adorable – these worries don’t make for impeccable mental health.

I once had a fifteen-minute conversation with an acquaintance about how annoying it was when you were friend-requested by someone you barely knew. I found them on facebook a week later and, due to our conversation, I ended up debating with myself for way too long about whether or not I should send them a friend request. Hurrah anxiety!

(For those of you keeping score at home, this person friend-requested me the next day, and I almost resented their decisiveness.)

I’m not even going to go into the almost irresistible urge to cyber-stalk people. We’ve all been there. And then ran out of there as fast as we could, deleted our internet history, and denied that we’d been there in the first place.

It’s an occupational hazard.

But all these things can affect how you see people, whether their twitter convinces you of their cleverness, or their instagram informs you that a couple of your friends have an unhealthy obsession with photographic documentation of food.

Social media is a necessary tool for businesses of the modern age, and a very advantageous one for everyday, individual use. But I would be lying through my deceptive little teeth if I claimed that it wasn’t to blame for a lot of lost respect.

What do you guys think? Mainly Speculative Studies wants your opinion.

[UPDATE: at least a couple of you are lying about being Loki]

Lest we forget, polls are most definitely one of the ups of social media. I would love to see what other its other users think, as it is a possibility that other people aren’t quite so easily annoyed as I seem to be.

Now get out there and be social.

(And yes, you can go ahead and take that however you want)

Glue Some Gears On It

9 Jul

The first time I was exposed to steampunk, I didn’t even recognize what was happening. I just remember thinking, “I would like a top hat.”

And that was the end of it. I literally believed that the definition of steampunk was the combination of top hats and goggles.

Pretty darn simple, really!

That’s why I’m so confused when I look at my desk and see my homemade steampunk goggles sitting there, doing nothing but daring me to try to explain why I made them.

I can’t, guys. I really can’t.

    “Are you talking to goggles?”

Oh, there you are, grown-up self. Now shut up.

Eventually, I went to all the trouble of looking “Steampunk” up on urbandictionary. Yeah, that’s right, this girl goes all out.

That particular well of information informed me:

Steampunk is a subgenre of speculative fiction, usually set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian alternate history setting. It could be described by the slogan “What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner.” It includes fiction with science fiction, fantasy or horror themes.

I would love an explanation of the goggles, but okay. I can handle this. Still though, this was an easy nerd topic to sweep under the rug.

The day it stopped being easy to ignore was a day I was hanging out with my dear friend and fellow blogger, the lovely Kire. She told me about a steampunk musical group. I blinked. Those words didn’t go together, did they? That was like describing a band as young adult dystopian fiction, wasn’t it? Regardless of my confusion, Kire let me know that the band she was introducing to me was called “Steam Powered Giraffe.”

If I was skeptical before, you can safely assume that I was mystified by now.

And then she told me, “The lead singers were trained as mimes.”

If anyone else had been telling me about this, right about now would be when I would overturn the table we were leaning on and run away in the midst of the confusion. But it was not. It was Kire. So I looked up a music video.

[Excuse me while I interrupt myself. How to describe Steam Powered Giraffe… Do you like music with hauntingly beautiful harmonies? Cheesy jokes and vaudevillian storytelling? Pantomime? Robots? Steampunk? How about feeling slightly creeped out? Then you are perfect for the SPG fanmily. Click here to love it with me.]

After this giraffe-flavored revelation was when I made the afore-mentioned goggles. Free time does weird things to me. But I still felt like I was pretending to understand something I did not.

Then I heard a lovely song called, “Just Glue Some Gears On It (And Call It Steampunk).”

I found a blog post that informed me that I’ve seen and enjoyed some steampunk films.

I saw a hilarious spread on Regretsy entitled “Things That Are Not Steampunk.”

So then, after far more research than I’d go through for any school project I’m actually supposed to do, I finally feel as though I get it. To quote “Just Glue Some Gears On It,”

“Steampunk refers to a type of science fiction about alternate pasts, not future prediction. Often set in Victorian Britain, but the history of technology has been rewritten… Retro-futuristic is a good explanation; blend antique reality with imagination.”

And now, now that I no longer feel like a poser when I like a steampunk pin on Pinterest, and now that I feel I could properly describe it to someone who is confused about it, now that I’ve accepted that steampunk music exists…

Even now.

I still don’t really know why the goggles are a thing.

But good heavens, they look dapper.

Why the Internet Is a Supervillain and We All Have Stockholm Syndrome

8 Apr

Stockholm Syndrome: a condition that arises when victims of a kidnapping or hostage situation begin to sympathize with and even defend the person who has them captive.

I’ll be honest. I know this feeling. If you’re on the internet right now, reading a blog, you know the feeling too. When we first got involved in the internet, it was weird. Uncomfortable. Foreign.

The library website knows my card number? WHAT ELSE DOES IT KNOW ABOUT ME?

Disturbingly Moriarty-esque, the internet pulls us in with knowledge of us and the things we love – and then it keeps us doing what it wants with those same things. It makes you believe that the only way to beat it is to do something drastic like throwing yourself off a high place or cancelling your facebook account.

Related image

Both terrifying.

But then, your mind starts to change. The internet starts to become commonplace.

Well, I really ought to keep in touch with my friend’s friend from Japan, so I’ll make an account on Google Plus for that reason.  

But then?  You’re in the middle before you know that you’ve begun. Just as you start to realize that the internet’s become normal, it becomes needed. You’re in a brutal Hunger Games arena of knowledge and entertainment and what is now “social,” and you have to compete to survive. Without it, you will be left to forage on your own in the increasingly frightening wilderness, not even being able to Google which berries are not deadly. You can’t give it up. And, in fact, you don’t even want to.

I can’t stop Pinterest. I have important stuff on there! What if I delete my boards and then someone proposes to me? The wedding will be a disaster without the 1,327 pins I saved for that very purpose!

And the cycle is complete. We have Stockholm Syndrome. Beginning the journey that is the internet, we hoped that our effect would be like Belle’s effect on the Beast. We dreamed that our being close to the internet would turn it into a loving being and that we would both be the better for having been together. But the internet turned out to be Gaston – he wants to make us love him, but he won’t truly love us in return.

And, thanks to the syndrome, we stick around anyway.

There are a lot of good reasons to be on the internet. I know this very well. But there are not as many good reasons as there are bad ones. I know this very well.

So I’ll start small. Just take some time away from this supervillain today.

Dear Internet (AKA: The Conversation Everyone Has with the World Wide Web at Some Point)

3 Mar

Hello Internet.

I think it’s time we talked.

Please don’t get nervous, I know everyone dreads “the talk.” But I really need to know.

Internet, where is this relationship going?

I mean, hardly a day has gone by in the past year when we haven’t seen each other. It’s not like we don’t talk, but we never really communicate. Every time I think we’re making some progress, you always seem to change the subject. Remember yesterday? I was just trying to talk to you about organization and you were all, “Hey, have you heard about ‘Busty Girl Problems’? They’re freaking hilarious.”

And they were, man. They were.  But that isn’t the issue.

I’ve been trying to focus on school lately, you know that. So why is it you call me late at night just to hang out? It’s sweet, I understand that! Any woman would want someone so devoted. But to be perfectly honest, if we have to hang out in Google Chrome one more late night when I’m trying to do my homework, I’m going to puke.

And your friends! I don’t mean to be rude, but Facebook is ruining my life! Have you ever really spoken to that guy? He won’t. Stop. Gossiping. It’s gotten to the point where everyone he talks about I end up hating. I can’t tell if he just makes them look bad or if they really do suck as much as he makes them seem!

Youtube isn’t so bad, but once you start talking to him, you just can’t stop. He’s all, “Hey, if you like talking about Dr. Horrible, why not talk about Doctor Who or Sherlock or Lizzie Bennet?” And I’m like, “We’re already talking about Dr. Horrible though,” And he says, “It’s okay, I’ll just add it to our list of things to talk about later,” and I say, “You even have one of those? But I have homework!” and he says, “It’s okay, when I stop for breath you can pretend to read.”

I’m not going to complain about Tumblr. We’ve actually been pretty tight since I found out we like a lot of the same stuff. Even if I am pretty sure the lights are not all on upstairs. And I think she may be a stalker. She has a lot of pictures she shouldn’t have.

Pinterest. Don’t get me started. That woman is one crazy maniac. She thinks she knows everything about everything, but she’s always misquoting people and pretending to be something she’s not.

You sure can pick ‘em, Internet.

Maybe we aren’t as good together as I thought we were. I thought we were going to work as a team and achieve things we couldn’t do alone. But you don’t need me, do you? And you’re really not helping me as much as I feel I deserve in this relationship.

Don’t give me that look.

Stop. You know that pictures of kittens don’t work on me anymore. I’ve moved on.

Thank you for accepting that. That’s very mature. See? We’re two adults.

Well, one.

Half of one. Whatever.

What’s that? You have some inspirational quotes for me to help me on my journey?

Thanks.

Maybe we do deserve another try.