Sunday, December 23, 2012

Feeling Contemplative

Tonight all the annoying, frustrating and depressing things in my life that I have no control over are bugging me.  I'm just feeling a little down, and when I feel kind of down everything rushes in at once and reminds me of all the stupid things that I generally don't bother thinking about.  People I'm not talking too anymore, things I have screwed up in the past, apartments that won't sell, general screweduppedness of the world in general.  Stuff like that.

Sure, I could call disappointing friends.....again.  With very little chance of being undisappointed.  Or I could list my apartment for so cheap it would definitely sell.  At a loss.  And I am definitely not ambitious or creative enough to fix the world in any way that doesn't involve picking one issue to throw money at.

Sometimes ignoring these things is really the best option.  I feel like these things are out of my control, even if there are things I COULD be doing about them.  It is just that what I could do is significantly more effort for little to no promise that it would actually make things better. Short of dragging other people kicking and screaming into my life to do what I want them too, or compromising my own self respect, I have no control. And who has the time or emotional fortitude for that?

This is where the overused phrase "Things happen (or in some cases, don't) for a reason" comes into play.  I know it is a mainly empty platitude, but I do like to believe that someone not me has a plan, or at least a better sense of timing than I do, and is making sure we don't get too far ahead of ourselves, or stuck in an unfortunate situation.

Some relationships aren't good for us in the long run, and maybe the house we want isn't available yet. And those past screw ups led me here, to this place, with these people and this life that I love so much.  Those might be the reasons for everything going the way it has.  I hope so.  And I will choose to believe so.  I've done all I can about these things without going crazy so I'm just going to cross my fingers, be thankful for the innumerable things and people in my life that I have and love, and wait for things to change.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Living in a Bubble

Oh no!  I watched a recommended video on YouTube, and now the site is all like "YAY!  You DO love us!  Here!  Try this one, and this one and this one, and oooh you will really like this one, and and and and and....."


It wouldn't be so bad if it wouldn't clog out my subscriptions and/or not show me things I have already watched.  I don't like the new YouTube.  Mostly because it is a pain in the butt to get a list of videos uploaded by the channels I have subscribed to without it being all cluttered with crap about similar stuff, and who liked what and blah blah blah.... Why does everything need to be so complicated?  I am not on YouTube to social network, I am there to watch videos by people I like.  Get the rest of that crap outta my face! Not every website has to compete with Facebook for lamest social network in the world.

The recommended videos thing brings up another interesting and disturbing point about the current internet culture.  It is quiet and insidious, but targeted personalizing of websites is kinda scary.  On the face of it, it can be kind of useful, especially in Google searches.  I mean, I love it when I go to google and start typing my search terms just to have them figure out what I want and fill it in.  It is also cool when the page I want is always on the first page of results.  However what is not cool is that it is leaving all kinds of stuff out. When I am searching for pictures of kittens, or the TARDIS, or whatever stupid thing it is,  this is handy.  However when I am searching for stuff with real world application, this is not so helpful.  Example!

A couple of years ago two guys in New York both did a google search for "Egypt".  One was a newsie, and the other guy was a travel dude.  The travel dude's search results returned travel agencies, tourist info and general "Things to see and do and buy in Egypt!!"  type links.  The newsie got articles about the riots and upheaval that was going on at the time.  The implications of that are kind of scary.  Imagine what kind of filter is being applied to political articles, news sites, commentaries and anything from the world outside of your little bubble.
(actual details and more information about the filter bubble can be found in this Ted Talk that I am too lazy too rewatch.)

Also, Facebook filters out friends you don't interact with, assuming that you are not interested in what they have to say.  I"m not sure if they are still going crazy with this now that you can adjust how much or how little a certain person will show up in your feed, but I'm sure they are still doing something like it.

I want to know what is going on in the world.  I want to know what people who are not exactly like me have to say.  I don't want to see the world through a filter of literature, sci fi/fantasy nerdiness, liberalism, Canada and parenthood.  There is more to the world than that, and more to me. I might want to EXPAND my hobbies and world view, and have no idea where to start.  Sure, I might not want to read what some hardcore conservative ass has to say, but if I am not allowed to filter them out for myself, how will I ever know if they make good points?

I appreciate the attempt to tailor my internet experience to my interests, but the great thing about the internet is that it contains every interest.  The filter itself isn't such a terrible idea, but the fact that it is implemented automatically and without letting people know is just not cool. I think you should be informed, and have to opt in.  That way, the idiots who are too clueless to change settings will have to deal with seeing the unfiltered internet.  Maybe they would learn something.  Like how to adjust their privacy settings.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Shoes. Bah.

I  hate shoe shopping.  So SO much.

"But you're a girl!"  you say, "Don't all girls LOVE shoes?"

To which I reply,  "Your stupid is showing.  Might wanna tuck that back in"

I have three main reasons for my dislike of shoe shopping.  Reason one, is that I  hate wearing shoes.  A lot.  They make my feet uncomfortably hot, it is really hard to get comfy ones that look good, and wearing shoes means I need to find a pair of socks that are actually still a pair.  It's a pain.  I would rather not do it.  Which is why it is December and I am wearing a pair of slip on flats that I bought last spring.

Reason two is that when I go shopping I have something very specific in mind and can never find anything remotely close to what I want.  For example, this last week I went looking for a pair of boots so that when I step in winter puddles, my ankles don't get wet.  I want a pair that is flat, not too fuzzy inside (see previous comment re: hot feet), comfortable  (heaven forbid!), and not rubber boots.   Apparently there is no such thing in this whole city. Unless you have size 6 feet apparently. I found lots of tiny boots that fit that description.  Which brings me to....

Reason three.  I have stupid feet.  Seriously.  I am size 8 1/2 W.  Not only am I a half size, I am wide to boot (Ha! Totally unintended pun!).  At least, that was my size before little bug.  Apparently one of the things that changes after pregnancy that no one mentions is your foot size.  I seem to have gotten even wider.  Either that or the "wide" shoes I was trying on were lying to me.  If they would have had something even close to what I was looking for in a size 9w, I might have tried that, but no such luck.  Hopefully my feet got that just a little bit longer too, so that I can ditch the annoying half size and just be stuck with the one shoe type that most stores don't even carry instead of both. But I have a feeling that I will be looking for an 8.5ww  next time I go out.

Anyone know a good, cheap cobbler???