Category Archives: Rants

No One Really Loves Traveling

If you’ve ever online dated or read the interests section on a resume, it might seem like we are a nation of wanderers. You know: I love movies, sports, traveling.

I always felt alienated by this because I hate traveling. I love being new places, seeing cool stuff and learning how other people live, but the process of getting there–the actual TRAVEL part–fills me with dread. Planes are claustrophobia-inducing. I have severe packing anxiety. Hotels make me feel like I’m in the beginning of a slasher film, and I can never sleep thinking about how many other bodies have shed their skin cells on those mattresses (you’re welcome).

Which leads me to think everyone else is a liar.

No one likes flying, except maybe prop plane pilots. They seem like they’re having fun.

No one likes waiting in line for tickets, for bathrooms, for transport.

Sure, it’s nice when you get there. But I really think people ought to be more specific.

No one actually likes to travel. What we like is arriving.

Just sayin.

 

How to Yelp Like a Human with Empathy

 

The problem with Yelp is it’s so personal; reviewers only think about themselves: “I don’t think anyone should go to this restaurant. It’s the worst.” There’s just not enough empathy to think about how other people might experience it. It’s only from their lens. Also, Yelpers don’t have any professional protocol. They sit down and say, “If you don’t do this, we’re going to give you a bad Yelp score.” We’re like, what the fuck?

David Chang, Momofuku Chef/mastermind and lover of burritos.

Sure, there are some valid, non-hateful reasons to look at a restaurant’s Yelp page. Paraphrasing Chang: it is great for finding an address, but any chef worth his kosher salt wouldn’t give a Yelper’s dramatic recounting of his or her tragic date night a second thought. My professional opinion as a server is that Comments are the worst part of the Internet, and Yelp is all Comments, all the time. And I have almost-successfully trained myself not to read the comments, on YouTube, on the NYTimes site, and in life.

The problem is, however, that review sites are likely the first or second search result that appear when you search for a restaurant or type of food in your area. Which means restaurant owners and managers read these comments like it’s their job. ‘Cause it is.
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ISO podcasts

Seems like this is the year that everyone discovers downloadable audio programs. Which is great. Because in a world of quick-gratifying images, the idea that people still want to listen to someone tell them a story for fifteen minutes or an hour at a go soothes my little verbal-centric heart.

I have a distinct memory of being in a fantastically uncurated thrift store in Astoria, Queens, probably 2007 or 2008, swaddled in a virtual bubble of headphone solitude, listening for the first time to Dan Carlin talk about the Black Death as an apocalyptic event on par with the craziest zombie movie. If you know me, you understand how tailor made this moment was. Pawing through racks of dusty, faded tops in search of a $120 shirt that would cost me $4.50, listening to a lively, enthusiastic voice bring up history from angles I’d never thought of before. It kickstarted my morbid fascination with Plague (another post, y’all), for one, but got me hooked on audio for sure. There have been few times when I have felt more myself than that.  Continue reading

What I’ll be doing during the NYC Ice Cream Crawl

Hope Pouts

I won't tolerate it!

This happens every year.

They do add “…a note to our friends who don’t do dairy, we DO have Italian Ice locations on the crawl as well!”

Great. So I can sporadically eat some lame juicewater while you all gorge yourselves on delicious ice cream.  Thanks for the methadone, you cruel, lactase-producing jerks!

More on how us lazy techno-slaves are ruining everything

This post from the Mediabistro Media Jobs blog on how everyone now-a-days is misspelling things that are annoying to type, thereby and ruining our fine language with their g-darn slackitude, reminds me of two recent incidents:

1. That silly rant on The Awl from the lady who still doesn’t have a cell phone (I agree we’re all pretty much techno-slaves, but prefer to think of it as the nice, fetish-style slavery than the real kind, which is, of course, unacceptable), and

2. One uber-nerd’s* comment on my post on Suvudu, rebuking me for my love of Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf. Cause, according to him, you either go Olde English or you GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY LIBRARY.

It gives me a chuckle when people get blustery and adamant about the preservation of ostensibly trivial things, particularly language. English is a mutt dialect, a linguistic Euro-pudding mixed up through a few thousand years of genocides and hostile takeovers. I’ll skip an aigu here & there, no sweat. Same as how I now keep all my friends’ phone numbers safe on a spreadsheet instead of in my brain. Evolution, snitchez.

*Ha-ha, no umlaut here, either!  You can take your keyboard shortcuts and go right to hell!

Quick! Post the Anti-Paddies’ Day Guide!

I wish I thought of this sooner, I could have gotten paid for it!  Or at least, paid in readership, as these things often are.Tardi-tardi-tar!  It’s Saint Paddies’ day in New York!  The largest confluence of voluntary ethnic stereotyping since Columbus Day! I.  Fecking. Hate this day. It’s just like New Year’s: suddenly, the world has converged on your home and is using it to throw a KEGGER.

I don’t know about y’all, but I can celebrate my genetic alcoholism any ol’ day of the week.  Sure, I’m “proud” of my 1/4 Irishness, but prefer to think of it as a deep personal pride I maintain by reading Beckett, listening to Primordial and never, ever talking about my feelings. So while I spend the celebration of one of Christianity’s few bloodless conversions doing that, here are some things you can do that won’t get you ambushed by pasty meatheads from Long Island on a break from humanity in the name of partial heritage.

Activity 1: Watch the dignified old Irish dudes in the parade. Wear rainbows, in solidarity. Go home early, make some colcannon and raise a glass or Murphy’s while watching Once. Or that movie with the adorable kids and Djaimon Honsu.  Screw all’a’y’all. I love that movie.

Activity 2: Go to work (if that’s your thing), and afterward treat yourself at one of these fine establishments likely to be ignored by the faux-Eire baffoonery.

Ethiopian Food followed by German Beer.
Currywurst followed by French Wine.
Australian hamburgers followed by Zyweic
Soul Food and Jazz
Bahn Mi and plum brandy.

This year, I personally have a party to go to.  A lovely couple, of German and French origin, are moving to Africa, and throwing themselves a farewell.  Tardi-tardi-tor to you all.